Former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs (Reuters)
Ryan Giggs will not face a second trial on charges of domestic violence after prosecutors dropped the case.
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs will not face a retrial over domestic violence claims after prosecutors on Tuesday withdrew the charges.
Giggs, 49, was due to go on trial for a second time on July 31 after a month-long trial last year ended without the jury reaching a verdict.
But prosecuting lawyer Peter Wright told Manchester Crown Court in north west England that there was of realistic chance of conviction.
Giggs’ ex-girlfriend Kate Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence as the first trial had “taken its toll” on her and her sister Emma, he explained.
“That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three. This is not a decision taken lightly,” said Wright.
Judge Hilary Manley replied: “I formally enter not guilty verdicts in respect of those counts.”
Giggs was on bail until the trial.
Judge Manley had dismissed the jury of seven women and four men in the original trial, which had been given the option of delivering a majority verdict after she determined there was no “realistic prospect” of a decision following almost 23 hours of consideration.
Prosecutors had alleged that the ex-star headbutted Greville in the face as she tried to end their relationship, and had subjected her to a “litany of abuse, both physical and psychological”.
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was among those to give evidence in the case, which also saw Giggs take the stand and admit to being unfaithful in all his past romantic relationships but deny ever being violent.
Giggs had earlier denied all charges, expressing his disappointed in a statement that a retrial had been ordered.
“I am confident that justice will eventually be done and my name will be cleared of all the allegations,” Giggs had said.
“I understand the level of interest and the scrutiny around this case, but I would like to ask that my family’s privacy is respected in the weeks and months ahead.”
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.
(With inputs from Agencies)