Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs’ retrial later this month on domestic violence charges has been abandoned after lawyers withdrew the prosecution.
Giggs, 49, was due to go on trial for a second time on July 31, accused of controlling or coercive behaviour towards his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, 39, between August 2017 and November 2020.
Giggs was also accused of assault by “losing control” and headbutting her, and the common assault of Ms Greville’s sister, Emma, by elbowing her in the jaw, during a row at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on November 1, 2020.
He denied the offences and underwent a month-long trial, which ended last August when the jury failed to reach any verdicts.
Prosecutors then sought and were granted an application for a retrial, scheduled to begin on July 31, after telling Judge Hilary Manley that the complainants were willing to give evidence.
But on Tuesday, prosecutor Peter Wright KC told Manchester Crown Court that the Crown Prosecution Service was not proceeding with the case.
He said Ms Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence in a retrial as doing so in the first trial had “taken its toll” on her and her sister Emma.
Mr Wright said: “This is not a decision taken lightly.”
He said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on count one, that of coercive and controlling behaviour, and it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Ms Greville and her sister.
He added: “That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three.”
Chris Daw KC, defending Giggs, said: “Mr Giggs is 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 – there’s been very, very many lies told about him in court.”
During Giggs’ playing career with Manchester United the club won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
Giggs stood down as manager of the Welsh national team following a period of leave since November 2020.
He won 64 caps for Wales and is co-owner of League Two side Salford.