The retrial of former Manchester United winger and Wales manager Ryan Giggs on domestic violence allegations scheduled for later this month has been canceled after the prosecution withdrew.
Giggs, 49, was scheduled to stand trial again on July 31, accused of controlling or coercive behavior toward his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville, 39, between August 2017 and November 2020.
He disputed the charges and faced a month-long trial that ended in August when the jury failed to reach a conviction.
After notifying Judge Hilary Manley that the complainants were eager to testify at a second trial, prosecutors requested and were granted a retrial, which is set to begin on July 31.
However, prosecutor Peter Wright KC informed Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will no longer be prosecuting the case.
He said Giggs’ ex-girlfriend had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence in a retrial as giving evidence in the first trial had “taken its toll” on her and her sister.
Mr Wright said: “This is not a decision taken lightly.”
He said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on count one, that of coercive and controlling behaviour, and it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Greville and her sister.
He added: “That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three.”
Judge Hilary Manley replied: “I formally enter not guilty verdicts in respect of those counts.”
Chris Daw KC, defending Giggs, who was not present in court, said: “Mr Giggs is deeply relieved the prosecution has finally come to an end after almost three years in which he’s been fighting throughout to clear his name.
“He has always been innocent of these charges, there’s been very, very many lies told about him in court.
“He’s now been found not guilty of all the charges and going forward would like to rebuild his life and career as an innocent man.”
During Giggs’ time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.
Giggs stood down as Wales boss following a period of leave since November 2020.
He won 64 caps for Wales and is co-owner of Sky Bet League Two side Salford.