Ryan Giggs hid an aggressive and volatile side to his personality for years but “the truth has caught up with him” and he must “pay the price”, a jury has been told.
The former Manchester United and Wales footballer kept part of his profile “hidden beneath the surface” until the night of his arrest, jurors were told.
Giggs, 48, has denied using coercive and controlling behavior against his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville over a three-year period and assaulting her and her younger sister on November 1, 2020.
In his closing address to the jury on Monday, Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said there were “two very different Ryan Giggses” – the one that is “exposed for public consumption and the Ryan Giggs that sometimes exists behind closed doors” .
Wright said Giggs coerced and controlled Greville during their “long, contentious and volatile” relationship using “aggression and acts of volatility” that carried “the unmistakable and barely concealed threat of physical dominance that is his trump card , his trump card.”
The prosecutor said the case was not about the “fragility of the human condition” or the two attributes Giggs told the jury he was known for: football and infidelity.
“It’s about what’s not known, what lies beneath the surface of this character and her character, and it’s about one man’s abuse of power over another woman,” Wright said.
“This is a man who thinks or thinks he could do whatever he likes about his treatment of Kate Greville and get away with it, because the sad history of that relationship revealed that his excesses were borne by her and kept private.”
He said Giggs’ attempt to keep his private life under wraps was sparked on 1 November 2020 when he was arrested for allegedly headbutting Greville during an argument at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester.
“The base from which he operated disintegrated before his very eyes and Ryan Giggs’ private persona was exposed to public scrutiny,” he said. “The truth had caught him and now it’s time, it’s his time, to pay the price.”
Wright said Giggs’ expressions of affection across more than 19,000 messages exchanged between the former couple were “completely empty”.
The jury of seven women and five men has been told they will likely retire to consider their verdicts on Tuesday.
Chris Daw QC, for Giggs, said the prosecution had presented its case against the defendant “in a very extreme manner” and portrayed him as “violent, coercive and controlling to the core”.
He said Giggs “wasn’t on trial for being a flirt; he’s not on trial for being a compulsive giver; he’s not on trial for adultery when he was married; he’s not on trial for being a liar or cheating, none of those things.”
In order to find Giggs guilty, Daw said, jurors had to be sure he had definitely committed the alleged acts. “Guilty probably isn’t enough, in our system; it’s not even close.”
He added: “Even if you think he’s probably guilty, you have to find him not guilty.”
Daw told jurors that watching Giggs being questioned by Wright could almost seem “like a form of blood sport” and that the defendant was like “a rabbit in the headlights”.
He said the former Wales manager was unable to answer some questions because of “anxiety on his part, a lack of understanding and a desire to avoid being humiliated”.
The cross-examination, Daw said, “was nothing more than a match of putting Mr Wright in goal against Mr Giggs at the height of his footballing prowess”.
The trial continues.
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