MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – The jury in the trial of former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs was discharged on Wednesday after failing to reach verdicts on charges he committed assault on and used controlling behaviour towards his then girlfriend.
Giggs, 48, faced charges of causing actual bodily harm to Kate Greville along with controlling and coercive behaviour. He also faced a charge of common assault of Greville’s sister Emma.
The jury of seven women and four men told the judge they had been unable to reach verdicts after a trial which lasted over three weeks.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) now has seven days to decide whether to proceed with a retrial.
Judge Hilary Manley told Giggs that any retrial might not be held until June of next year. Giggs has been bailed until the CPS decision is made.
Giggs, the former Wales manager, had pleaded not guilty to the charges and his defence said the allegations were “based on distortion, exaggeration and lies”.
The former United player was first arrested in the case and released on bail in November, 2020.
Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, had said the case involved “a litany of abuse, both physical and psychological of a woman that he professed to love”.
“The systematic and at times violent abuse of a woman is what this case is all about, while all the time preying on her”.
The prosecutor described an incident in which Giggs headbutted Greville and “deliberately elbowed” her sister.
Giggs’s defence, Chris Daw QC, said he “never once used unlawful violence against Kate Greville” saying the pair “behaved like squabbling children”.
He said Giggs acknowledged there was “minor and accidental contact” during a tussle over a mobile phone but denied there was a deliberate headbutt and said it was “not remotely a criminal assault”.
Giggs was replaced as Wales manager after initially stepping aside in late 2020 due to the case.
Rob Page has taken over the side who have qualified for November’s World Cup finals in Qatar.
Giggs made 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, a club record, winning a haul of honours including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He represented Wales 64 times between 1991 and 2007 and took over as national coach in 2018.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ed Osmond)