A UK judge on Wednesday discharged the 11-person jury in the domestic violence case against former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs, after it failed to reach a verdict despite days of deliberations. Judge Hilary Manley dismissed the jury of seven women and four men, which had been given the option of delivering a majority verdict, after determining there was no “realistic prospect” of a decision following almost 23 hours of consideration. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which oversees prosecutions in England and Wales, were given a week to decide whether to retry the case following the four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.
“I have permitted the prosecution a short period of time to consider their position,” Manley told Giggs shortly after discharging the jurors, adding “more will be clear in a week’s time”.
The CPS must consider the public interest of a retrial of the 48-year-old former footballer, who until recently served as coach of the Wales national team, which would take place next year and possibly as far off as June.
Giggs, who remains released on bail and is not required to attend the next court hearing on September 7, did not comment as he left court in central Manchester.
He had denied controlling and coercive behaviour against his former girlfriend Kate Greville as well as assaulting her and her younger sister.
If found guilty, the three counts could lead to a five-year jail term.
Prosecutors alleged that the ex-star headbutted Greville in the face as she tried to end their relationship, and had subjected her to a “litany of abuse, both physical and psychological”.
– ‘Far from perfect’ –
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was among those to give evidence in the case, which also saw Giggs take the stand and admit to being unfaithful in all his past romantic relationships but deny ever being violent.
His lawyer insisted the former winger “used no unlawful violence”, while conceding that his behaviour “on a moral level was far from perfect”.
Giggs resigned as the Wales manager in June, after being on leave since his arrest.
He said he did not want “continued interest around this case” to affect the team as it prepares for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Giggs exploded onto the scene as a teenager in the mid-1990s. He ended his career at Old Trafford as the most-decorated player in English football history.
As a player, he made a club-record 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking temporary charge at the end of the 2013-14 season after David Moyes was sacked. Giggs then worked as an assistant to Louis van Gaal for two years.
Giggs was appointed Wales boss in January 2018 and helped them secure qualification for Euro 2020, their first major tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.
He missed the chance to lead them to last year’s European Championships after being placed on leave by the Welsh FA since November 2020.
He finally resigned from that role in June after Wales qualified for the World Cup under the stewardship of his former assistant Rob Page.
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