Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has gone on trial on charges of attacking and coercively controlling his ex-girlfriend, in a case that has upended his managerial career.
The 48-year-old, who until recently served as coach of the Wales national team, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum jail term of five years.
The jury trial at a crown court in Manchester opened at about 11am (10:00 GMT) on Monday, presided over by judge Hilary Manley. She said the trial is expected to last two weeks but could overrun.
Giggs entered the court building looking grave-faced, flanked by his legal team. Inside, he sat upright in the dock as lawyers discussed the course of the trial with the judge.
The first day was to decide the final jury selection and hear the opening speech by prosecution lawyer Peter Wright.
Wright told the judge the trial would include a compilation of security camera footage and body cam videos.
Giggs is charged with assaulting his former girlfriend, PR executive Kate Greville, 36, causing her actual bodily harm on November 1, 2020, when police were called to his home in the Manchester area.
The Welshman is further charged with common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, on the same day.
He also faces a charge of controlling and coercive behaviour towards Kate throughout their relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.
The charge specifies that his behaviour towards Kate included the use of “isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse”.
Giggs was arrested by police at his home in November 2020 and later released on bail.
He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty at an initial court appearance in April last year.