Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs will be tried on Monday on charges of coercively attacking and controlling his ex-girlfriend, in a case that upset his managerial career.
The 48-year-old, who until recently was the Wales national team manager, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include a maximum prison sentence of five years.
The jury trial at a Manchester crown court was to begin at 10:30 am, presided over by Judge Hilary Manley. It is expected to last 10 days.
Giggs is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, public relations executive Kate Greville, causing her actual personal injury on November 1, 2020, when police were called to her home in the Manchester area.
The Welshman is also accused of common assault on his younger sister, Emma Greville, on the same day.
She also faces charges of controlling and coercive behavior against Kate Greville during their relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.
The charge specifies that his behavior towards Greville, 36, included the use of “isolation, demeaning, 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 in a first court appearance in April last year.
His trial was due to be heard in January, but was delayed due to the backlog of court cases caused by the Covid pandemic.
Before two tests
Giggs’ attorney 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 colleague Anton Ferdinand in 2012 .
Giggs stepped down as Wales manager in June after being on leave since his arrest.
He said he didn’t want “continued interest in this case” to affect the team as they prepare for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
He remains on bail and said he can’t wait to “clear my name”.
An incredible 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 in 23 years with Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He then began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking up the temporary post at the end of the 2013/14 season after David Moyes was fired before working as Louis van Gaal’s assistant for two years.
Giggs was named head of Wales in January 2018 and helped them qualify for Euro 2020, only their second appearance in a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.
His trial opens shortly before another court case involving a famous footballer, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.
The Frenchman will be tried on Wednesday in Chester, in north-west England, accused of rape and assault in a case involving seven women.
Mendy, who was suspended from the City, denies the allegations. – Agence France-Presse