Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs appeared in court on Monday accused of assaulting and violently driving his ex-girlfriend in a case that upended his managerial career.
READ ALSO: Three talking points from the opening weekend of the Premier League
The 48-year-old man, who until recently was the coach of the national team of Wales, pleaded not guilty to the charges, the maximum term of imprisonment is five years.
The jury trial at Manchester Crown Court began at around 11am (10am GMT) with Judge Hilary Manley presiding. She said the trial is expected to last two weeks but could end.
Giggs entered the courthouse with a serious face, flanked by his team of lawyers. Inside, he sat in the dock while lawyers discussed the proceedings with the judge.
The first day was to decide the final selection of the jury and to hear the opening statement of the prosecution lawyer Peter Wright.
Wright told the judge that the trial will include a compilation of surveillance footage and body camera footage.
Giggs is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, public relations executive Kate Greville, causing her bodily harm on November 1, 2020, when police were called to his home in the Manchester area.
The Welshman is also accused of common assault on his younger sister Emma Greville on the same day.
He also faces charges of controlling and coercing Kate Greville during their relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.
The charges allege his conduct towards Greville, 36, included “isolation, humiliation, humiliation, harassment, degradation and violence”.
Giggs was arrested by police at his home in November 2020 and released on bail.
He denied the charges and pleaded not guilty during his first trial last April.
His trial was due to take place in January, but it was postponed due to a backlog of court cases caused by the Covid pandemic.
– The first of the two courts –
Giggs’ lawyer, Chris Dove, has defended prominent sports figures, including former England and Chelsea captain John Terry, who was found not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in 2012.
Giggs resigned as Wales manager in June after being on leave following his arrest.
He said he did not want the “continued interest in this matter” to affect the team preparing for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
He remains on conditional bail and has said he hopes to “clear his name”.
A dazzling teenage talent, Giggs ended his career at Old Trafford as the most decorated player in English football history.
As a player, Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
He then began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking charge on an interim basis at the end of the 2013/14 season after David Moyes was sacked, before spending two years as Louis van Gaal’s assistant.
Giggs was appointed Wales manager in January 2018 and helped them qualify for Euro 2020, their second major tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.
His trial will begin shortly before another trial involving star footballer, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.
A Frenchman accused of raping and assaulting seven women will go on trial in Chester, northwest England, on Wednesday.
Mendy, who was suspended by City, denies the allegations.