Ryan Giggs was branded ‘sinister’ by a prosecutor as Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard the contents of text messages he sent to ex-partner Kate Greville during their relationship on Monday. Giggs arrived in court for the start of a 10-day trial on Monday morning before the proceedings continue at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday.
The former Manchester United player faces accusations of controlling and coercive behaviour against Greville throughout a three-year period between August 2017 and November 2020. He is also accused of common assault against the defendant’s younger sister, Emma Greville, at his Greater Manchester home in November 2020. Giggs has denied all charges.
In response to the allegations, Giggs’ barrister, Christopher Daw QC, denied the defendant had physically assaulted Greville or carried out any ‘unlawful violence’. “As far as the allegation Mr Giggs headbutted Ms Greville, it’s not only a nasty lie but a ridiculous one,” he told the court.
On the opening day, the court was read several messages from Giggs to Greville. The first read: “Please unblock me, all this blocking malarkey is poo. Promise, no more naked piccies.” He later sent a follow-up message saying, ‘Please’ and then an email with the header ‘Blackmail’ containing an attachment.
Greville’s prosecutor, Peter Wright QC, said: “What on earth drove him to put that as the header to the message he was sending to the woman who was blocking him at the time on that late evening?”
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In response to the controlling and coercive behaviour charge, Daw told the court Giggs and Greville’s behaviour could’ve been childish but strongly denied the claims. “We say he did not control or harass her at all,” Giggs’ QC said. “He supported her career and supported her to move abroad and booked her for his own company, for which she received a six-figure salary.
“When she set up her own business, he introduced most of the clients. She was financially independent and kept her own apartment. She was free to travel and see friends as much as she liked, frequently and happily. Both of them could be childish.”
Another message from Giggs, titled ‘LIES, LIES, LIES’, read: “Only an evil, horrible c*** does that… Now I look like a t*** telling three of my friends I am going to Scotland at the weekend. I simply cannot believe you f****** did that. I am so f****** mad right now, and I am scaring myself because I could do anything. I actually hate you for what you’ve done to me. Hate you. HATE HATE HATE.”
Wright then read his opening, describing Giggs’ skills on the football pitch for United and Wales as ‘a thing of beauty’ but identifying his behaviour behind closed doors as the ‘ugly’ and ‘sinister’. “The defendant is now 48 years of age. He is, you may know, a former professional footballer of considerable repute,” Wright stated.
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“In his heyday, he played locally for Manchester United and internationally for Wales. He was idolised and still is by his adoring fans and supporters. On the pitch, his skills were abundant and a thing of beauty. Off the pitch, in the privacy of his own personal life, at home behind closed doors, there was, we say, the facts, in this case, reveal an uglier and sinister side of his character.
“We say it was a private life which involved a litany of abuse, both physically and psychologically, of a woman he professed to love, a woman he was in a relationship with and treated her in a way that cannot be excused or overlooked by either adoring public or the law.”
The trial continues at 10:30am on Tuesday for the first day of evidence at Manchester Crown Court.