08 Aug 2022 | 20:19 | Football
Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs was on trial Monday charged with assaulting and raping his ex-girlfriend, in a case that has boosted his management career.
The 48-year-old, who until recently was the coach of the Wales national team, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
The jury trial at crown court in Manchester opened at approximately 11:00 (12:00 AM SA), presided over by magistrate magistrate Hilary Manley. She said the test was expected to last two weeks but could be destructive.
Giggs entered the building with a serious expression on his face, surrounded by his legal team. Inside, he sat upright on the pier as the attorneys discussed the course of the trial with the judge.
The first day was to decide on the final jury selection and hear the opening remarks by prosecutor’s attorney Peter Wright.
Wright told the judge that the trial would include a compilation of CCTV footage and body cam video.
Giggs is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, PR executive Kate Greville, causing her actual bodily harm on November 1, 2020, when police were called to his home in the Manchester area.
The Welsh player was further charged with assaulting her sister, Emma Greville, on the same day.
He also faces charges of controlling and coercing behavior against Kate Greville during their relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.
The allegation specifies that his conduct towards Greville, 36, included the use of “isolation, contempt, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse”.
Giggs was arrested by police at his home in November 2020 and released on bail.
He denied the charges and pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance last April.
His trial was scheduled to be heard in January but it was delayed due to a backlog of court cases caused by the Covid pandemic.
Giggs’ lawyer, Chris Daw, has acted for famous sports figures including former England and Chelsea captain John Terry, who was found guilty of racially abusing player Anton Ferdinand in 2012.
Giggs resigned as Wales manager in June, after being on leave since his arrest.
He said he didn’t want the “continued interest surrounding this” to affect the team as it prepared for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
He remained on conditional bail and said he was looking forward to “clearing my name”.
A dazzling teenage talent, Giggs ended his career at Old Trafford as the most decorated player in English football history.
As a player, Giggs made a club record of 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He then began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking charge at the end of the 2013/14 season after David Moyes was sacked before working as assistant to Louis van Gaal for two years.
Giggs was appointed Wales manager in January 2018 and helped them secure a spot at Euro 2020, their second major tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.
His trial opens shortly before another involving a star footballer, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.
The French man will appear in court on Wednesday in Chester, northwest England, accused of rape and assault in a case involving seven women.
Mendy, who has been suspended by City, denies the allegations.