The jury in the trial of former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs began deliberations on Tuesday.
Giggs, 48, is on trial over allegations he assaulted his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, 38, causing her actual bodily harm, and of controlling or coercing her during their relationship between August 2017 and November 2020. He denies the allegations.
He also denies assaulting the public relations executive’s 26-year-old sister, Emma, in the same incident at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1, 2020.
The judge presiding over the trial has said that the former Wales footballer is not on trial over his “serial womanising” and said that this is not “a court of morals”.
Judge Hilary Manley summed up the evidence heard in the trial at Manchester Crown Court earlier on Tuesday.
She asked the jury of seven women and five men to consider if the relationship “veered off the rails” due to Ms Greville’s inability to accept Giggs’s serial womanising, with her getting “her revenge by twisting and exaggerating their routine arguments”.
Or, she asked, was the relationship “much more sinister and darker”, involving a man exerting his power over an emotionally vulnerable woman, eventually leading to a loss of self-control.
She told jurors: “Put aside emotions. Continue to approach the case with a cool head and go where the evidence leads you.”
Giggs's barrister, Chris Daw QC, told jurors that Ms Greville was a “scorned” woman, furious over her partner's serial cheating throughout their on-again, off-again six-year relationship.
Her inability to accept his infidelity led to her falsely characterising Giggs as a physically and psychologically abusive boyfriend who made her a “slave to his every need and demand”, he said.
Giggs’s defence team said there was no evidence of him controlling anything Ms Greville did and claimed the alleged headbutt was “utterly incredible” and actually an accidental clash of heads or faces.
Giving evidence, Giggs admitted his reputation as a “love cheat” was justified and he had been unfaithful in all his relationships.
But he said he had never physically assaulted a woman or set out to control and coerce anyone.
Prosecutors say there are “two very different Ryan Giggses” — the one in the public eye and the one behind closed doors.
Peter Wright QC said the former Wales manager “thinks, or thought, he could do whatever he liked in respect of his treatment of Ms Greville and that he could get away with it”.
He said the “sad history” of the relationship revealed his “excesses were endured by her, excused and kept private”.
But he said all that changed on the night of November 1, 2020, when he lost control and attacked her — and she had the “courage” to stand up to him to expose the Giggs “behind the mask”.
Giggs resigned as the Wales manager in June, after being on leave since his arrest.
He said he did not want “continued interest around this case” to affect the team as it prepares for this year's World Cup in Qatar.
He remains on conditional bail and has said he looks forward to “clearing my name”.
The former footballer exploded on to the scene as a teenager in the mid-1990s. He ended his career at Old Trafford as the most-decorated player in English football history.
As a player, he made a club-record 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking temporary charge at the end of the 2013/14 season after David Moyes was sacked. Giggs then worked as an assistant to Louis van Gaal for two years.
Giggs was appointed Wales boss in January 2018 and helped them secure qualification for Euro 2020, their second major tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.
He missed the chance to lead them to last year's European Championships after being placed on leave by the Welsh FA since November 2020.
He finally resigned from that role in June after Wales qualified for the World Cup under the stewardship of his former assistant, Rob Page.
The jury has been sent home and will resume its deliberations at 10am on Wednesday.