MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs’ retrial on charges of domestic violence will not go ahead this month after prosecutors pulled out of the case.
Giggs, one of the greatest modern-day players in British football, was due to go on trial for a second time starting July 31, accused of controlling or coercive behaviour toward his former girlfriend, Kate Greville, between August 2017 and November 2020.
Giggs was also accused of assaulting her as well as assaulting Greville’s sister, Emma, during an argument at his home outside Manchester on November 2020.
He denied the offenses and underwent a month-long trial, ending in August when the jury failed to reach any verdicts.
Two weeks before the scheduled start of the retrial, prosecutor Peter Wright told Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday that the Crown Prosecution Service would not be proceeding with the case because Kate Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence because doing so in the first trial had “taken its toll” on her and her sister.
“This is not a decision taken lightly,” Wright said.
Giggs wasn’t in court Tuesday.
Wright said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on the charge of coercive and controlling behaviour, and that it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Greville and her sister.
“I formally enter not guilty verdicts in respect of those counts,” judge Hilary Manley said.
Chris Daw, who was defending Giggs, said his client was “deeply relieved the prosecution has finally come to an end after almost three years in which he’s been fighting throughout to clear his name.”
“He has always been innocent of these charges,” Daw said. “There’s been very, very many lies told about him in court.”
In a 23-year playing career at United, Giggs won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and made 963 appearances.
He stood down as coach of the Wales national team last June, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize preparations for the World Cup that took place in November and December in Qatar.
He had been on leave since November 2021.