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Ryan Giggs assault trial: ‘a story of control and coercion’

Ryan Giggs assault trial: ‘a story of control and coercion’

Ryan Giggs outside Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court

Ryan Giggs deliberately headbutted his then partner after she tried to end their “toxic” relationship following years of “both physical and psychological” abuse, a court has heard.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer is charged with controlling and coercive behaviour against his ex Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020. He is also charged with assaulting Greville and her sister at his home in Greater Manchester in November 2020.

Opening for the prosecution, Peter Wright QC told Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court that “this is a story of control and coercion”. The relationship between Greville and Giggs – who denies all the charges against him – was “punctuated by acts of violence and volatility”, said Wright.

Giggs was “idolised” for his skills on the pitch, but behind closed doors he had “a much uglier and more sinister side to his character”, the jury was told. The sports star was alleged to have threatened to send images “of a personal nature” to Greville’s friends unless she did what he said.

Today, the court heard Greville’s claims that on one occasion in a hotel room Giggs had kicked her in the back so hard that she “flew off the bed and landed on the floor”.

“He grabbed me again, into the suite bit of the room, got my bag with my laptop in and threw it at my head. He left me naked in the lounge bit,” she said. 

Wright said that after Greville had repeatedly caught Giggs cheating on her, he attempted “to gaslight her” –“a form of manipulation in which an abuser makes a victim question their judgements and reality”, The Times explained. 

“The emotional abuse was calculated to erode any sense of self-worth, any resistance, any independence of thought or action,” Wright added.

When Greville finally decided to end the relationship, Giggs “entirely lost control”, headbutting her and elbowing her sister in the jaw, according to the prosection. 

Giggs’ lawyer Chris Daw QC admitted that the footballer was “far from perfect”. But “there were lines that Mr Giggs would never cross”, Daw said.

He told the court that the assault claims were based on “distortion, exaggerations and lies”, and that the headbutting allegation was “not only a nasty lie but a ridiculous one”.

Giggs quit his role as Wales national manager ahead of the trial, which expected to last for around ten days. Witnesses called by the defence may include former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and former player Gary Neville.

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