Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court in Manchester, Britain, April 28, 2021. [Reuters, Molly Darlington]

Ryan Giggs appeared in court on Wednesday to deny charges of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and her sister and controlling or coercive behaviour.

It was alleged that the Manchester United legend was ‘repeatedly engaged’ in behaviour towards his ex Kate Greville, including ‘isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse’, magistrates heard.

Giggs, 47, also entered a not guilty plea of actual bodily harm to PR executive Kate, 36, at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on November 1 last year.

He has also been charged with the common assault against her sister Emma Greville during the same alleged incident. The charge of controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship alleges the abuse lasted almost three years, between December 1, 2017, and November 2, 2020.

Dressed in a black suit, black tie and black Coronavirus face mask, Giggs made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. The full charges were read out to him, that he engaged in controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.

It was said that between Dec 1, 2017, and November 2, 2020, he repeatedly or continuously engaged in behaviour that was controlling or coercive, ‘namely, used violence, isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse towards Kate Greville’.

It was also said that at the time of the behaviour, Giggs was ‘personally connected in that you were in an intimate relationship, that behaviour having a serious effect on her, and you knew or ought to have known that the behaviour would have a serious effect on her, contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2015.”

It was also alleged that he assaulted Kate Greville, thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm, on November 1 last year and that he assaulted Emma Greville by beating her on the same day.

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Giggs spoke only to confirm his name, address and to enter his not guilty pleas and was bailed to appear at Manchester Crown Court on May 26.

Prosecutor Andrea Griffiths read out a brief summary of the charges in the case against him.

Giggs leaves Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court in Manchester, Britain, April 28, 2021. [Reuters, Molly Darlington]

She said the assault charge against Katie Greville was an alleged domestic assault involving a “deliberate headbutt” aggravated by the fact he was “in drink”.

Summarising the alleged coercive behaviour Ms Griffiths added: “There was fear of violence on many occasions.

“He isolated her from friends and colleagues, undertook incessant communication with her, subjected her to degrading treatment.

“When he didn’t get the responses he required there was a consequence and threat of violence on several occasions.

“When she did try to challenge him the defendant would pursue her incessantly and would threaten physical or professional harm against her.”

His conditions of bail are he must not contact Kate or Emma Greville or go to any address where they are. The hearing lasted 13 minutes.

Following the announcement of the charges on Friday, Giggs denied the allegations as he stated: “I have full respect for the due process of law and understand the seriousness of the allegations. I will plead not guilty in court and look forward to clearing my name.”

Giggs, now manager of the Wales national side, was arrested and later bailed pending further inquiries. The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has announced caretaker boss Robert Page will manage the country at this summer’s European Championship finals.

He is also a co-owner of League Two side Salford City. Giggs and his ex-wife Stacey divorced in December 2017 and it is understood they finalised a £40million settlement

Giggs won 64 caps for Wales and had a glittering playing career with Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and three League Cups.

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