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

Ryan Giggs trial jury told they are not overseeing ‘court of morals’

Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester crown court
Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester crown court on Tuesday. Photograph: PA

Jurors in the Ryan Giggs trial have been told they are not overseeing “a court of morals” as they began deliberating their verdicts over claims of domestic abuse and assault.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer is charged with assaulting his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville and her younger sister at his home on 1 November 2020. He is also accused of using coercive and controlling behaviour against Greville over a three-year period from October 2017 to November 2020.

Giggs, 48, had told Manchester crown court he had never been faithful to his partners – including his former wife – but said he had never been violent or controlling to any of his lovers.

Judge Hilary Manley told the jury on Tuesday before sending them out to deliberate a verdict that Giggs was not on trial for being “serially unfaithful” and the trial was not being heard in “a court of morals”.

The judge told jurors they must decide whether the case was, as the defence has suggested, “a relationship that had its ups and downs, albeit with many more ups than downs, which ultimately veered off the rails because of the complainant’s inability to accept the defendant’s serial womanising”.

Or, she added, was it a “portrait of control, violence and misery” and a “darker and more sinister” relationship in which Giggs “exploited his power” over “an emotionally vulnerable partner”.

Manley previously told jurors both Giggs and Greville had been “distressed” at points during their evidence. She told them to “put aside any feelings of sympathy for one person or another, or both”, adding: “You do not try a case on sympathy.”

Greville has told the trial how Giggs made her life “a living hell” and would send aggressive and threatening messages when they fell out. But Giggs said the emails had been “cherrypicked” from the 19,000 communications the pair exchanged during their turbulent six-year relationship.

The former Wales manager denied headbutting Greville “with force” at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, during an argument about his alleged infidelity. He also denies assaulting Greville’s younger sister, Emma Greville, by elbowing her in the face during the same argument.

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