Ryan Giggs broke down in tears as he described his night spent in a police cell, following his arrest for allegedly headbutting his ex, as “the worst experience of his life”. The 48-year-old former Manchester United star is accused of assaulting Kate Greville, 37, after a row at their home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on November 1, 2020. Ms Greville told jurors at Manchester Crown Court last week that Giggs “grabbed me by both shoulders, looked me straight in the eyes and headbutted me in my lip”.
Giggs, who is also accused of coercive and controlling behaviour towards Ms Greville during their six-year relationship, denies all charges and claims there was “minor contact” between their faces as they grappled over his phone. The court heard Ms Greville’s sister called police and Giggs was arrested and spent the night in a police cell.
Asked by his barrister Chris Daw QC how he found that night, the ex-Wales manager told jurors: “Worst experience of my life” and began to cry. Judge Hilary Manley asked Giggs: “Mr Giggs do you want to sit down?” to which he replied “No, it’s OK” and Mr Daw said: “Sorry, I have only got a few minutes left [of questions].”
The evidence then resumed. Prior to the alleged headbutting, Ms Greville claims she was “pinned” to the ground by Giggs as he tried to take her phone from her in the hallway. Giving evidence this afternoon, the former Manchester United player denied trying to take Ms Greville’s phone and said the pair had tripped over bags in the hallway and he had accidentally landed on top of her.
He claimed he then found Ms Greville’s phone in the home’s utility room and put it in his pocket in retaliation for her taking his phone minutes before. He said the pair were moving around the kitchen island in a “tug of war” as she tried to get the phone from his pocket before they came to a stop against the dining room table. Giggs told jurors: “It happened really quickly. The tugging was more aggressive, then I felt my lips against hers. I could quite clearly see she was hurt.”
He also told the court he had been considering calling the police earlier in the row as Ms Greville and her sister were refusing to leave his house. When Kate Greville and her sister accused him of headbutting Kate, Giggs told them he had already called the police – which he admitted to jurors he had lied about. Asked by his barrister Chris Daw QC why he lied, Giggs said: “Because by now I could see that the mood had changed and they were accusing me of something that I hadn’t done.”
He agreed he was thinking of the “implications” of being accused of headbutting someone in the face. When asked by Mr Daw what those implications were, Giggs said: “Well I was confused and scared. Because now there looked like a situation where what happened was completely different, and I was scared.”
Here is a transcript of Giggs’ evidence about the alleged headbutting and the aftermath:
RG It was just tit for tat because she took my phone and stupidly I took hold of her phone and wouldn’t give it back. Then Kate sort of grabbed my wrist while my hand was still in my pocket and sort of led me towards the fridge. So we are going in that direction towards the fridge with me facing the fridge and Kate walking backwards.
CD And what if anything were you doing? What were you doing physically towards her?
RG I was being led by her just making sure she couldn’t get into my pocket.
CD What was she doing?
RG She continued to ask for her phone back and not sort of pulling me, but because I was leading her I was not resisting, she was just trying to pull my wrist out of the pocket.
CD How long did that go on?
RG We went all around the kitchen island.
CD During that, what was happening physically?
RG Kate was just grabbing my wrist and trying to get my hand out of my pocket but yeah we were both moving in the same direction.
CD You were not aware Emma was in the room?
CD How far did you two get in the motion you describe – she’s grabbing your hand, you have got your hand jammed in your pocket, you’re going backwards she’s going forwards…
RG All the way round the island until you see the chairs on your right – that’s the dining room table and chairs.
CD How did things come to an end? What was it that caused you to finally separate?
RG Kate had then stopped because her back was against the chair and the dining room table. The tugging just got a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more to and fro where actually she wasn’t leading me round the island. We actually couldn’t go anywhere because of the table and chairs behind.
CD Was there any physical contact between you?
CD What happened?
RG It got more and more aggressive. We were facing each other, it was sort of tug of war, and then we clashed heads.
CD Whereabouts do you recall was contact made on your face and head and hers?
RG It happened really quickly. The tugging was more aggressive, then I felt my lips against hers.
CD What was her reaction after that happened?
RG I could quite clearly see she was hurt.
CD How did she seem hurt?
RG She fell backwards not on the floor because she couldn’t, but more towards the table.
CD And when that happened who was becoming more aggressive?
RG The movement became more aggressive. Kate became more aggressive because we had come to a natural stop and she was not having any joy getting my wrist out of my pocket. It got more aggressive once we had to stop because of the dining room table.
CD Did she say anything to you?
CD Did she at any point after that say anything about what had happened or accuse you?
RG Yes afterwards she accused me of hitting her in the face.
CD Did she use the word ‘hit’ or another word?
RG Well she accused me of headbutting.
CD Were you aware of Emma being present throughout any of that sequence?
RG Yes, when it was coming towards a natural end – the dining room table. That’s when Emma came into the room.
CD And did Emma say anything at that point?
RG No I think she was sort of shouting to stop and I can’t recall what she was saying.
CD Mr Giggs did you at any stage put your hands on Kate’s shoulders and forcefully and deliberately headbutt her in the face?
RG No I didn’t.
CD Would you ever do such a thing?
CD After that, you said that Kate was accusing you of headbutting her?
CD Did the subject of police come up?
CD How did that come up?
RG Well quite quickly Emma said she was going to ring the police. I think I said I already rang the police as a threat I’d made earlier in the evening.
RG So that wasn’t true what you said – you hadn’t rung the police earlier in the evening?
CD So why did you say that?
RG Because by now I could see that the mood had changed and they were accusing me of something that I hadn’t done.
CD You mentioned Kate accused you of headbutting her, did Emma say anything?
RG Yeah she said the same.
CD And was it true what they were accusing you of?
RG No it wasn’t.
CD And so did you give any thought at the time about the implications of being accused of headbutting in the face?
CD What were the implications?
RG Well I was confused and scared. Because now there looked like a situation where what happened was completely different and I was scared.
Giggs continued giving evidence after a lunch break. Here is that evidence in full:
CD What does this photograph show and when was it taken?
RG My cut lip.
CD What precisely were the injuries around your mouth?
RG I had several cuts around my lips and the mouth area.
CD And how were they caused?
RG During the course of the evening.
CD Do you know if they were caused in the course of the first incident in the hallway or the second incident in the kitchen?
RG There was an injury from the first incident but I don’t know how many. I was certainly cut during the first incident.
CD Do you know whether you were injured in any way during the second incident when your faces came together?
RG No not sure.
CD Did you have any injuries to your mouth area before that evening?
CD Was there any other occasion other than the two occasions involving Ms Greville where you came by any other injury that evening?
RG No there wasn’t.
CD There is a second picture. Can you assist with what’s on the photograph?
RG A cut to my upper lip
CD So I was asking you before the lunch break you gave evidence you were frightened by what might happen as a result of the police becoming involved and that was because they were accusing you of headbutting Kate.
CD Was there a time you became aware the police were on their way?
CD what did you do as a result of finding out the police were coming until they arrived?
RG I was standing at the front door waiting for them to arrive and they were having trouble finding the house so I went to the bottom of the drive and also a bit up the road.
CD Where did you see any police officers?
RG When I was in the house.
CD What gave you the impression they were having trouble finding the house?
RG Because I saw them driving past. Because it’s a fairly new street obviously my mum had lived there a while and I lived down the road. Because there were new houses being built at the time the numbers jump. I knew people had trouble finding the house.
CD Any stage you tried to do a runner?
CD When police did finally find the address your evidence is, by this stage, you are inside the house?
CD So far as things with the police are concerned, how did you engage with the police officers at the scene?
RG Just answered the questions.
CD what sort of emotional condition were you in at the time?
RG I was scared, never been in that position before, so [I was] scared.
CD You were taken to a police station. We know it’s between 10 and 11 o’clock. Were you interviewed or in any way questioned about events that night?
CD Where did you spend the night?
RG In a cell.
CD And how was that?
RG Worst experience of my life.
Giggs starts crying
Judge Mr Giggs would you like to sit down?
RG No it’s OK.
CD I have only got a few minutes left. Have you at some stage got in contact with a solicitor?
RG Yes a phone call.
CD I don’t know if you slept or not but did you speak to a solicitor before the next morning?
RG No, no.
CD When did you first get to speak to a solicitor?
RG The following day.
CD How much sleep had you had the night before?
RG Hardly any.
CD And by the time we get to the following lunchtime at 12 o’clock what was your emotional and mental state at that time?
RG The same. I was a bit more tired but scared and more tired really.
CD And we know you made a written statement. The jury have that statement. At the interview when you made that statement, did you tell any deliberate lies?
RG No I didn’t.
CD You were then bailed after the interview is that right?
CD And thereafter were you invited to come back for another interview?
RG Yes I was.
CD There was an arrangement for interview on the 24 November
CD And for reasons the officer gave yesterday the police weren’t ready for that interview and therefore it went off to another day?
RG Yes it did
CD Did you return another day in December?
RG Yes I did.
CD Did you make another statement on that occasion?
RG Yes I did.
CD By that time did you have access to any messages that relate to Kate or the period being investigated?
RG No my phone got taken.
CD Did you at that stage have access to the full transcript of what Ms Greville had said to police on the 18 November?
CD Did you have an outline of at least an outline of what she had alleged in that interview?
CD When made statement did you deliberately tell any lies?
CD Mr Giggs do you accept you are a man of many human faults and flaws?
RG I do.
CD Is one of those a propensity to commit violence against women?
CD Is one of those to control and coerce women with whom you are in emotional relationships with?
The trial continues.