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Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex

Ryan Giggs outside Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court

Ryan Giggs’s ex-girlfriend had panic attacks when their relationship became “utter hell” during the Covid-19 lockdown, a court has heard.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer is charged with controlling and coercive behaviour against his former partner Kate Greville between August 2017 and November 2020. He is also charged with assaulting Greville and her sister at his home in Greater Manchester in November 2020.

The relationship between Greville and Giggs – who denies all the charges against him – was “punctuated by acts of violence and volatility”, prosecutor Peter Wright QC told Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court as the trial began at the start of the week.

Lockdown claims

Yesterday, Greville told the court that living with Giggs in Worsley, Greater Manchester, during the Covid lockdown was mentally “horrendous”. She said: “I felt like I was losing my mind. I was having panic attacks. It was a horrific time.”

The court heard that the couple joined online family quizzes, Zoom wine tastings and had Michelin-starred chefs bring in food for them. Asked why she decided to move in with Giggs by his barrister, Chris Daw QC, Greville said: “We were back in that cycle. He promised a family… I desperately wanted that and I wanted that to be true.”

In a tense exchange, Daw suggested: “It wasn’t that he had a large house with a garden and a more pleasant place to be locked down than a flat?”

Greville said she could have gone to either of her parents’ homes, to which Daw asked why then she chose to spend lockdown with someone she claims is a “serial abuser”. She said that she was “hugely ashamed” that she moved in with Giggs in March 2020, despite his allegedly aggressive and controlling behaviour.

Greville said she became “a slave to his every need and every demand”, adding that: “He made me feel like I had to do what he said otherwise there were consequences.”

Hotel room incident

Earlier this week, the court heard Greville’s claims that on one occasion in a hotel room Giggs had kicked her in the back so hard that she “flew off the bed and landed on the floor”.

“He grabbed me again, into the suite bit of the room, got my bag with my laptop in and threw it at my head. He left me naked in the lounge bit,” she said. 

And Wright said that after Greville had repeatedly caught Giggs cheating on her, he attempted “to gaslight her” –“a form of manipulation in which an abuser makes a victim question their judgements and reality”, The Times explained. 

“The emotional abuse was calculated to erode any sense of self-worth, any resistance, any independence of thought or action,” Wright added.

When Greville finally decided to end the relationship, Giggs “entirely lost control”, headbutting her and elbowing her sister in the jaw, according to the prosecution. 

The sports star was also alleged to have threatened to send images “of a personal nature” to Greville’s friends unless she did what he said.

‘Distortion and lies’

Giggs’ lawyer, Daw, admitted that the footballer was “far from perfect”. But “there were lines that Mr Giggs would never cross”, he said.

He told the court that the assault claims were based on “distortion, exaggerations and lies”, and that the headbutting allegation was “not only a nasty lie but a ridiculous one”.

Giggs quit his role as Wales national manager ahead of the trial, which is expected to last for around ten days. Witnesses called by the defence may include former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and former player Gary Neville.

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