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Ryan Giggs cleared over former girlfriend assault charges



Former Manchester United footballer and ex-Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been cleared of allegations he assaulted his ex-girlfriend and her sister.

It comes after charges were withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Giggs, 48, has always denied assault and controlling or coercive behaviour towards Kate Greville, 38, and assaulting her sister Emma.

Judge Hilary Manley directed that he was not guilty on all three counts.

The retrial had been due to start at Manchester Crown Court on 31 July.

Jurors failed to reach verdicts following more than 20 hours of deliberations after his four-week trial in August last year.

Mr Giggs was not in court on Tuesday as the judge had agreed he did not need to attend.

‘Taken its toll’
Prosecutor Peter Wright KC told Manchester Crown Court that the CPS were not now proceeding with the case.

He said Kate Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence in a retrial as giving evidence in the first one had “taken its toll” on her and her sister.

Mr Wright said: “This is not a decision taken lightly.

“In this case, Ms Greville and her sister Emma gave evidence over a number of days in a case when there was considerable media and public interest, and it is that particularly that’s taken its toll on them, in particular Kate Greville.”

Mr Wright said there had been “protracted” efforts to find out why she was unwilling to co-operate with a second trial but prosecuting lawyers did not think it appropriate to issue a witness summons to compel her to give evidence for a second time.

He said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on count one of coercive and controlling behaviour, and it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Ms Greville and her sister.

He added: “That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three”.

‘Rebuild his life and career’
His defence barrister, Chris Daw KC, said: “Mr Giggs is deeply relieved that the case has finally come to an end after almost three years of fighting to clear his name.

“He now intends to rebuild his life and career as an innocent man.”

The former footballer denied “losing control” and headbutting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting Ms Greville’s sister, Emma, 26, by elbowing her in the jaw during a row at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on 1 November 2020.

Mr Giggs was due to go on trial for a second time facing the same charges, after the jury in the first trial was discharged.

The jury was made up of 11 people – seven women and four men – after one of the original 12 jurors had fallen ill.

During the trial, Mr Giggs admitted to being unfaithful in relationships but, when asked if he had ever physically assaulted a woman, he said “no”, adding that he had never set out to control or coerce a woman.

The trial was told of the alleged assault on 1 November 2020 at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, where the couple returned following a row at dinner in which she accused Mr Giggs of messaging a string of women.

Jurors heard the pair tussled over their mobile phones, leading to Emma Greville, who was looking after the couple’s dog, calling the police.

He denied the accusations and alleged Kate Greville kicked him in the head.

‘Our legal test is no longer met’
A CPS spokesperson said: “At all stages we keep cases under careful review, to ensure our legal test is met. This means there must be a realistic prospect of conviction based upon the available evidence and a prosecution is in the public interest.

“Following a recent change in circumstances in this case we have determined our legal test is no longer met.

“We have determined there is no longer sufficient evidence available to proceed in respect of the controlling or coercive behaviour charge and that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute the remaining assault charges.

“This decision was made following detailed discussions with Greater Manchester Police and consultation with the complainants.

“It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

“We encourage any potential victims to come forward and report offences to the police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”

The Cardiff-born former player made 963 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 168 goals.

He also played 64 times for Wales, and went on to manage his national team.

He stepped away from his role in November 2020 after being arrested and resigned as manager in June 2022 while awaiting trial.

His replacement Robert Page went on to take Wales to their first World Cup in 58 years in Qatar at the end of 2022.

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F1 great Hamilton kept his Ferrari move so quiet even his parents didn’t know




Formula 1 great Lewis Hamilton kept his Ferrari move so closely guarded that he didn’t even tell his parents until the day it was announced.

The British driver rocked the F1 world when it was announced on Feb. 1 he was joining the Italian manufacturer next year, despite signing a new contract with Mercedes last summer.

“I didn’t speak to anybody. I didn’t tell my parents till the day of it being announced. So, no one knew,” Hamilton told a BBC podcast. “I really wanted to do it for myself. Ultimately, I had to find out what would be the best for me.”

It then emerged that the two-year deal penned with Mercedes and announced last August was actually for one year with an option for a second year, which Hamilton did not take.

Hamilton informed Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff of his decision to leave only the day before over breakfast at Wolff’s home. They have become close friends over the years after Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren in 2013.

The 39-year-old Hamilton and Michael Schumacher have a record seven F1 titles each, and Hamilton is the outright leader with 103 race wins and 104 pole positions.

Hamilton has spoken in the past of the lure of racing with Ferrari, where Schumacher won five of his world titles.

“I mean, the opportunity just popped up and I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got to think for a second,’” Hamilton said. “(But) I didn’t have a lot of time to think and I had to just go with my gut feeling and I decided to take the opportunity.”

Hamilton begins his last season with Mercedes on Saturday at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

His last win was at the Saudi Arabian GP in the penultimate race of the 2021 campaign, where Max Verstappen won the first of his three straight titles with Red Bull.

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The nominees for 2024 Laureus Sports Awards




Manchester City star Erling Haaland, athletics speedster Sha’Carri Richardson, and Ivory Coast football star Sébastien Haller are among the nominees for the 2024 Laureus Sports Awards.

The Laureus Sports Awards is the most prestigious honour given to sportsmen and women in recognition of an iconic season, and those shortlisted for this year’s honours have done exceptionally well in their various fields.

Football star Haaland, in contention for Sportsman of the Year, scored 52 goals in 53 games during his debut season as City completed the Treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Track star Richardson is shortlisted for the Sportswoman of the Year after an exceptional season that saw her become the world’s fastest woman by winning the 100m title at the World Championships in Budapest.

Tennis youngster Gauff made the nomination list for Breakthrough of the Year for her gallant efforts last season, highlighted by winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Also in this category is Real Madrid football star Jude Bellingham, who at age 20, has become a key player for Real Madrid following his 103m euro (£89m) move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, scoring 20 goals in 29 games this season.

Newly crowned AFCON 2023 champion Sébastien Haller is shortlisted in the Comeback of the Year category for his valiant efforts at fighting cancer and coming back to help Ivory Coast become African Champions for the third time in the country’s history.

Here’s the full list of nominees for the 2024 Laureus Sports Awards.

Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – tennis

Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) – athletics

Erling Haaland (Norway) – football

Noah Lyles (USA) – athletics

Lionel Messi (Argentina) – football

Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – motor racing

Sportswoman of the year

Aitana Bonmati (Spain) – football

Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) – athletics

Faith Kipyegon (Kenya) – athletics

Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) – athletics

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – skiing

Iga Swiatek (Poland) – tennis

Team of the year

European Ryder Cup Team – golf

Germany men – basketball

Manchester City – football

Red Bull – Formula 1

South Africa – rugby

Spain women – football

Breakthrough of the year

Jude Bellingham (GB) – football

Linda Caicedo (Colombia) – football

Coco Gauff (USA) – tennis

Qin Haiyang (China) – swimming

Josh Kerr (UK) – athletics

Salma Paralluelo (Spain) – football

Comeback of the year

Simone Biles (USA) – gymnastics

Sébastien Haller (Ivory Coast) – football

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (UK) – athletics

Siya Kolisi (South Africa) – rugby

Jamal Murray (Canada) – basketball

Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic) – tennis

Sportsperson of the year with a disability

Simone Barlaam (Italy) – swimming

Danylo Chufarov (Ukraine) – swimming

Diede de Groot (Netherlands) – tennis

Luca Ekler (Hungary) – athletics

Nicole Murray (New Zealand) – cycling

Markus Rehm (Germany) – athletics

Action sportsperson of the year

Rayssa Leal (Brazil) – skateboarding

Caroline Marks (USA) – surfing

Kirsten Neuschafer (South Africa) – sailing

Bethany Shriever (GB) – BMX

Filipe Toledo (Brazil) – surfing

Arisa Trew (Australia) – skateboarding

Sport for good

Bola Pra Frente (Brazil) multi-sport & employability

Dancing Grounds (USA) – dancing & social integration

Fundacion Rafa Nadal (Spain) – tennis & education

ISF Cambodia – football & education

Justice Desk Africa (South Africa) – multi-sport & human rights

Obiettivo Napoli (Italy) – multi-sport & inclusion

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South Africa boss Ellis sets sight on Super Falcons clash




Banyana Banyana of South Africa head coach Desiree Ellis has warned her side against complacency as they bid to set up a clash with eternal rivals, Nigeria.

The Super Falcons defeated Cameroon 1-0 in Abuja on Monday to earn a place in the final round of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The African champions will take on Tanzania in the return leg of the third round fixture on Tuesday (today).

Banyana Banyana defeated Tanzania 3-0 away in the first leg last Friday.

Jermaine Seopesenwe, Thembi Kgatlana and Hildah Magaia were on target for the reigning African champions in the game.

The reverse fixture is expected to be an easy affair for South Africa but Ellis is not ready to take anything for granted.

“We have to finish the job back home. We don’t want to become complacent. The next goal in the match could change things,” Ellis told CAFonline.


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