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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

Ryan Giggs told girlfriend’s sister ‘I’ll head-butt you next’, trial told

Former footballer Ryan Giggs arriving at Manchester crown court
Former footballer Ryan Giggs arriving at Manchester crown court on Monday. Photograph: Peter Powell/Reuters

Ryan Giggs assaulted his then girlfriend “with lots of force” before turning to her younger sister and saying: “I’ll head-butt you next,” a court has heard.

Emma Greville, the sister of Giggs’s former girlfriend Kate Greville, told jurors he was “extremely angry” during an altercation at his home on 1 November 2020. She said the former footballer became angry as he tried to retrieve a mobile phone from her sister’s hand, leading to a “scuffle” on the floor.

She described how she tried to pull Giggs away from her sister when he stood up and his elbow struck her in the face in “a ‘get off me’ manner”. The court heard Giggs then went “from annoyed to extremely angry” and head-butted Kate Greville in the face.

The witness said: “He put both hands on Kate’s shoulders and with lots of force used his head to head-butt her in her lip. Afterwards he told me it was my fault he had head-butt Kate and turned to me and said: ‘I’ll head-butt you next.’”

Emma Greville said her sister “fell to the ground screaming, covering her face” while Giggs walked away towards the kitchen.

Asked by the prosecutor, Peter Wright QC, how she felt when the former Manchester United player threatened to head-butt her, she said: “I felt fear as he had just head-butt Kate so why would he not do the same to me?”

Kate Greville, who had been in an on-off relationship with Giggs for about six years at this point, told her sister to call the police, the court heard. Jurors were told Giggs pleaded with the witness not to call the police and was saying: “Think about my daughter, think about my career.”

“He was still trying to talk to me while I was on the phone to police – to think about him and also think about Kate and her career … to persuade us not to call the police because he said it would be in all the newspapers,” she said.

The trial at Manchester crown court also heard from Kate Greville’s employer, Elsa Roodt, who said her company had to block Giggs’s emails because his then partner “couldn’t do her work”.

Appearing via videolink from Dubai, Roodt said: “At one stage, early on in her employment, we had to call our internet provider to block Ryan Giggs’ email. It was intense and Kate couldn’t do her work. It was interfering with her work and we had no other option than to try and block his email.”

Roodt said that when she started working for the company Greville was “very bubbly, very happy”, but described a noticeable difference in her over time. She told the court that at one point Greville “started to be very distracted” and seemed “a lot more worried”, becoming preoccupied with answering her phone and “being available at all times”.

Roodt was asked by Wright about seeing Greville the day after an incident with Giggs at the Westin hotel in 2017. She said Greville had bruises on her arm and “had been crying” and told her the pair had had an argument in the hotel room.

“I asked her how she got the bruise and she said after the argument they had ended up having quite rough sex and the bruises were from that,” Roodt said.

She also described seeing Greville with bruises on her arm after an incident in February 2020.

Roodt said: “She said Ryan had got physical with her the night before in the hotel room.”

Greville was currently a managing partner in the UK branch of Roodt’s business, the court was told.

Giggs, 48, denies using controlling and coercive behaviour against Kate Greville and assaulting her, causing actual bodily harm, and denies the common assault of Emma Greville.

The hearing continues.

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