Ex-Manchester United star Ryan Giggs goes on trial for assault

Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has gone on trial for assault and coercive control over his ex-girlfriend, which has put his managerial career in jeopardy.

The 48-year-old, who most recently coached the Wales national team, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The jury trial at the Crown Court in Manchester began at 11am (10:00 GMT) on Monday with Judge Hilary Manley presiding. She said the trial is expected to last two weeks but could be delayed.

Giggs entered the court building and looked on with a grim face from his legal team. Inside, he sat upright in the dock as lawyers discussed the course of the trial with the judge.

The first day consisted of final jury selection and hearing opening statements from prosecuting attorney Peter Wright.

Wright told the judge that the trial will include the collection of security camera footage and body cam videos.

Two attacks

Giggs is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, PR executive Kate Greville, 36, on 1 November 2020, causing her actual bodily harm when police were called to his home in the Manchester area.

On the same day the Welshman was charged with common assault on her younger sister Emma Greville.

He is also accused of controlling and coercive behavior towards Kate throughout the relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.

The indictment explains that his treatment of Kate included “isolation, degradation, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse”.

Giggs was arrested by police at his home in November 2020 and later released on bail.

He has denied the charges and pleaded not guilty at his initial court appearance in April last year.

His case was scheduled to be heard in January but was delayed due to a backlog of court cases due to the coronavirus pandemic.

First of two tests

Giggs’ lawyer, Chris Daw, has acted for high-profile sports figures including former England and Chelsea football captain John Terry, who was found not guilty of racially abusing fellow player Anton Ferdinand in 2012.

Giggs resigned as Wales manager in June after being on leave since his arrest.

He said he did not want “continued interest around this matter” as the team prepares for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

He remains on conditional bail and said he was keen to “clear my name”.

A brilliant teenage talent, Giggs ended his career at Old Trafford as one of the most decorated players in English football history.

As a player, Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances for Manchester United over 23 years, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.

He then began his coaching career at Old Trafford by taking over on a temporary basis at the end of the 2013–14 season after David Moyes was sacked as Louis van Gaal’s assistant for two years.

Giggs was appointed Wales boss in January 2018 and helped them qualify for Euro 2020, their second major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

His trial will begin shortly before another court case involving star footballer, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

A Frenchman is to stand trial for the alleged rape and assault of seven women in Chester, northwest England, on Wednesday.

Mendy, who has been suspended by City, denies the allegations.

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