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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Tristan Kirk

‘Don’t judge Ryan Giggs on cheating and womanising’, jury warned in domestic abuse trial

Jurors in the trial of Ryan Giggs have been warned not to judge the ex-footballer for being a love cheat and serial womaniser, as the trial reaches its conclusion.

Giggs, 48, is accused of coercive control over his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville over three years of their relationship, and he also faces claims he headbutted Ms Greville and attacked her younger sister during a final violent confrontation.

During the trial at Manchester crown court, Ms Greville said she discovered Giggs had conducted relationships with eight separate women during their romance and she says she repeatedly caught him cheating.

Giggs told the court himself how he has never been faithful to a woman, and conceded his “reputation for infidelity” was entirely justified.

On Tuesday morning, Judge Hilary Manley began summing up the evidence in the case and started with a summary of the prosecution and defence arguments.

“Was this, as the defence suggests, a relationship that had its ups and downs, albeit with many more ups than downs, that ultimately veered off the rails only because of the complainant’s inability to accept Ryan Giggs’ serial womanising?

“Has Kate Greville exacted her revenge for that womanising by twisting and exaggerating their routine arguments into a portrait of control, violence, and abuse?

“Or was the relationship much darker and sinister, in which a man exploited and exerted his power over an emotionally vulnerable partner, and when he saw the control was no longer working he lost his self-control and attacked his partner and her sister?”

She told jurors directly: “Ryan Giggs is not on trial for serial womanising. This is not a court of morals.”

Giggs is accused of ‘gaslighting’ Ms Greville during their relationship, bombarding her with messages and romantic poetry, and reacting angrily and sometimes with violence when she challenged him over his womanising.

The ex-footballer denies the accusations, insisting he had never been violent and accusing Ms Greville of lying and exaggerating their rows out of revenge.

In his closing speech on Monday, prosecutor Peter Wright QC argued the 999 call to police on November 1, 2020, when Giggs is accused of headbutting Ms Greville in anger when she tried to leave him, revealed the private nature of Giggs.

“This case is about what he’s not known for, what lies hidden beneath the surface of this character and of his character”, he said.

“It’s about the abuse of power by a man over another human being. It’s actually a tale that is as old as the hills and repeats itself in this case before your very eyes at various points from that 999 call.

“It’s about a man who thinks or thought he could do whatever he liked in respect of his treatment of Kate Greville and he could get away with it because of the sad history of this relationship, revealing that his excesses were endured by her, excused and kept private.”

Defence barrister Chris Daw QC accused the prosecutor of “cherry-picking” messages and pieces of evidence from years of the relationship, to paint a false picture of Giggs.

“One cannot fairly judge another person’s behaviour to another in extreme arguments.

“Ryan Giggs is not on trial for being human and human flaws, for succumbing rarely to extreme emotions in his choice of language. His emotions got away from him on a very small number of occasions and on those small occasions Mr Wright understandably has settled and spent the whole of the trial focusing on those small number of messages.”

Giggs denies coercive and controlling behaviour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and assault by beating. The trial continues.

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