'The' Ryan Giggs?': Moment 999 operator realises Manchester United star is headbutt suspect

·20 min read
Ryan Giggs trial live: Message exchanges to be read out in court - Steven Allen /PA
Ryan Giggs trial live: Message exchanges to be read out in court - Steven Allen /PA

Ryan Giggs’ trial heard the moment Greater Manchester Police realised they were not dealing with a run-of-the-mill domestic abuse call, but one involving one of the city’s most famous sons

The 999 call after the Manchester United great is alleged to have headbutted his then-girlfriend Kate Greville, 36, was played to court yesterday.

Emma Greville, the claimant’s younger sister who was at Mr Giggs’ house dogsitting, dialled the emergency services, and the handler asked: “What is his name?”

She answered: “Ryan Giggs, footballer Ryan Giggs.” To which the call handler responded: “Okay, as in ‘The’ Ryan Giggs?”

During the sometimes frantic conversation, Mr Giggs was picked up in the background and Kate Greville can be heard loudly sobbing.

Emma Greville tells the handler: “I think, yeah [she needs an ambulance]. He has just headbutted her in the face… What? Ryan, I am saying anything I want to f---ing say. You have headbutted my sister…I don’t care if your daughter is 17, I don’t care about your daughter.”

Kate Greville screams in the background: “In the face you f---ing p----.”

'He headbutted her lip I think, she has got blood everywhere'

Asked about injuries, Emma Greville says: “He headbutted her lip I think, she has got blood everywhere.”

In the background, Mr Giggs can be heard saying: “Kate, all I wanted was my phone, now we will be … thanks Emma.”

He later says: “All losers.”

Emma Greville replies: “Yeah, we are all losers? All losers, yes. What are you waiting for? Just go away.”

Bodyworn police footage was also played to the jury showing the moment Mr Giggs was arrested.

The ex-footballer told police how the then-couple had been "out for a meal, few drinks in town" and then they'd "had an argument".

Mr Giggs told police: "I came home, asked her to leave, ‘why are you still here?’."

'She’s kicked me in the head, bust my lip'

He added that he was looking for his phone and "we got into a little bit of a tangle, rumbled on the floor there...I've tried to get it [Ms Greville's phone] off her, struggled on the floor and she’s kicked me in the head, bust my lip."

The responding officer wrote in a statement that when they arrived at Mr Giggs’ Worsley home, he was bleeding from the mouth.

He then goes on in the video to say there was a further "struggle" and "I've hit her in the lip", in relation to the alleged headbutt incident.

The couple's dog - called Mac - could be seen in the lobby of Mr Giggs' house whilst he is being talked to by officers.

Pc Billington asked: "What dog is it?"

Mr Giggs responded: "Cocker spaniel. I love him just as much as Kate, so we had an argument and she wanted to take him."

As Mr Giggs is being led out of the house, he stops and asks: "With the puppy...?"

To which the officer says: "We'll sort that out."

He is then walked to the police van, with a police officer holding his arm, and he is placed in the vehicle.

Mr Giggs had earlier left the house and visited his neighbour, who he asked to call the police, but she said she “didn’t want to get involved”, the court heard.

During the conversation, Mr Giggs was asked for Kate Greville’s date of birth, but he puffed his cheeks and replied: “I don’t know.”

The former Manchester United winger is on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of assaulting PR executive Kate Greville, 38, causing her actual bodily harm, at his home in Worsley, Greater, Manchester.

He is also said to have assaulted her younger sister, Emma, 26, by elbowing her in the jaw in the same incident on Nov 1, 2020.

He denies the allegations. The trial continues.

03:45 PM

Trial adjourned

That's it for today - and the jury have been sent home early for the weekend.

Thanks for reading this week.

03:10 PM

The 999 call: 'There's blood everywhere'

Emma Greville, who was looking after the couple’s dog, called the police at 10.05pm and when asked what had happened said: “Assault. Headbutted her.”

In the recording of the call, played to the jury, she urges the police to “come quickly” as a female – Kate Greville – can be heard crying.

The operator asks: “Does she need an ambulance that lady who is screaming in the background?”

Emma Greville replies: “I think, yeah. He has just headbutted her in the face.”

Emma Greville is then heard to say: “What? Ryan, I am saying anything I want to f---ing say. You have headbutted my sister.

“I don’t care if your daughter is 17, I don’t care about your daughter.”

Kate Greville screams in the background: “In the face you f---ing p----.”

The call operator later asks: “What injuries has your sister got?”

She replies: “He headbutted her lip I think, she has got blood everywhere.”

The operator says: “Ok, why is she screaming? Why?”

Emma Greville says: “Because she is in so much pain.”

Asked who the alleged offender is, she replies: “Ryan Giggs, footballer Ryan Giggs.”

The operator responds: “Okay, as in ‘the’ Ryan Giggs?”

“Yes,” says Emma Greville. Later, she says: “He is coming back now. Can you come quick please?”

The operator replies: “We are on blue lights and sirens, OK?”

Emma Greville says: “Because he has said he is going to headbutt me. He is coming back.”

The operator replies: “Stay there, the police are very close. There in 60 seconds.”

Giggs can be heard in the background saying: “Kate, all I wanted was my phone, now we will be … thanks Emma.”

Emma Greville says to Giggs: “No, you said you called the police already. You told me.”

Giggs later says: “All losers.”

Emma Greville replies: “Yeah, we are all losers? All losers, yes. What are you waiting for? Just go away.”

The operator asks: “Do you still think Kate needs an ambulance?”

Emma Greville replies: “I don’t know. It’s just a burst lip, I can’t tell you.”

The operator says: “I just want to make sure she has not got a broken jaw or anything like that?”

Emma Greville replies: “Yeah I can’t see that. He headbutted her right in the face. So I can’t see.”

The operator then asks: “Okay, where is your sister?”

Emma Greville answers: “She is inside. He is outside at the gate waiting for the police. He has already said to me he had called the police. Are they coming? How long now? He is coming back.”

She later says: “He is screaming and shouting. I need them to come quickly. What, what’s the matter?”

Kate Greville continues to cry in the background as the operator asks: “What is up with her?”

Emma Greville replies: “She? I don’t know.”

The operator asks: “Are either of the parties intoxicated at all?”

Emma Greville said: “Yes, both.”

02:34 PM

Police officer cross-examined by defence

Pc Bilington was then cross-examined by the defence.

Marianne Alton asked the police officer about Mr Giggs' demeanour. "Was he calm throughout?", she asked.

The police officer agreed.

The defence did not argue that Mr Giggs had not been drinking, but Ms Alton asked Pc Billington: "But he wasn’t stumbling about?"

"No," the officer answered.

She added: "He spoke coherently?"

Pc Billington replied: "He responded coherently, yes."

The officer was then asked why he kept cutting Mr Giggs off when he began going into detail about what had happened on that night.

It was explained to the court that "there is a time and a place for that, and procedures to follow when interviewing", which involve the subjects not being at all intoxicated.

Ms Alton said: "And you quite properly did not go into details."

"That’s correct," he answered.

02:21 PM

Sister: “He says he’s going to headbutt me”

During the 999 call, Emma Greville, the complainant’s sister who was in Mr Giggs’ home looking after his dog.

She said: "He says police are here but they aren’t here...Can you come quick please."

Police: "They’re on blue lights and sirens okay."

Caller: "Because he says he’s going to headbutt me."

01:39 PM

'As in, THE, Ryan Giggs?'

This was the moment Greater Manchester Police realised they were not dealing with a run-of-the mill domestic abuse call, but with one of the most famous people in the city.

Emma Greville (EG), called 999.

Here is how the conversation went:

EG: He’s doing a runner, he’s run away

999: Who is the offender?

EG: He's the footballer Ryan Giggs

999 As in the Ryan Giggs

EG: Yes. He’s outside. The police aren’t here. He’s coming back now

EG: Can you come quick, please?…He’s coming back

999: Police will be there in 60 seconds

01:20 PM

Police officer: I thought Ryan Giggs was intoxicated

After watching the video, Pc Billington was questioned by Peter Wright QC for the Crown.

Mr Wright QC said: "Mr Giggs was then taken to the police vehicles, and escorted to the police station, the court."

Pc Billington: "That's correct."

Mr Wright QC continued: "At the time that you spoke to him, did you form ask him whether he’d been drinking?"

Pc Billington said this was correct and was asked: "Did you form an impression of his state."

"I believed he was intoxicated," the police officer answered.

Asked why he had formed that opinion, Pc Billington added: "His slow response to my questions and his eyes were slightly glazed."

The jury were then told how Pc Billington found Ms Greville's phone on top of a 6ft fencepost, which he returned to her.

01:13 PM

Mr Giggs went to neighbour's home asking her to call police

Mr Giggs told police: "When I first got home, we had an argument. She was insisting on taking Mac the puppy and I said 'you’re not taking him'.

"So that’s when I went to Linda my neighbour, 'can you help me out here and ring the police please?'.

"She said, 'I’m not getting involved in that', so that’s when I started taking the stuff. "

Mr Giggs, having returned to the home, said: "She had my phone and she wouldn’t give my phone back for about half an hour."

01:06 PM

Jury played bodycam footage again

The jury have now been given a transcript of what was said as Pc Billington talked to Mr Giggs.

During their conversation, Pc Billington asked Mr Giggs: "How much has she had to drink? A lot, or?"

"Yeah," Mr Giggs answered.

The police officer continued: "Any arguments in the past, or first sort of time?"

"First," Mr Giggs answered.

When asked "how long you been together?", by police, Mr Giggs answered: "On and off about three years."

01:01 PM

'I requested further patrols'

At 10.10pm, Pc Billington was called on his radio to a "domestic disturbance in which there was asserted there had been an assault".

He was relatively nearby, the court was told, and arrived at 10.20pm.

Pc Billington was then asked if he needed backup. He told the court: "I said yes, I need further patrols."

12:46 PM

Pc Billington called as a witness

The officer has entered the witness stand.

12:39 PM

Ryan Giggs is arrested, on video

Pc Billington then walks into the kitchen and has a discussion with a colleague.

At that point, he comes back to Mr Giggs and says: "At the moment there is an allegation of assault, so we’re going to have to place you under arrest... take you back to the police station."

The ex-footballer is then read his rights.

He is given a pat search and hands his phone to the officer.

As Mr Giggs is being led out of the house, he stops and asks: "With the puppy...?"

To which the officer says: "We'll sort that out."

He is then walked to the police van, with a police officer holding his arm, and he is placed in the vehicle.

12:31 PM

'I love the dog just as much as Kate'

The couple's dog - called Mac - could be seen in the lobby of Ryan Giggs' house whilst he is being talked to by officers.

Pc Billington asked: "What dog is it?"

Mr Giggs responded: "Cocker spaniel. I love him just as much as Kate, so we had an argument and she wanted to take him."

12:28 PM

Mr Giggs did not know Ms Greville's date of birth

When asked if this sort of thing had happened previously, Mr Giggs shook his head.

The officer then says he is going to find out from a colleague what Ms Greville has said, and Mr Giggs exhales.

During this time, the officer asks: "What's your name, mate?"

To which the defendant replies: "Ryan Giggs."

Mr Giggs was then asked what his partner's date of birth was, to which he replied: "I don't know."

He went on to tell officers: "I asked her to leave, but she wouldn’t. I took her stuff to the gate, she’d rang a taxi, or I thought she had.

"She wouldn't leave for like an hour, so I just took her stuff outside."

12:20 PM

'She's kicked me in the face...bust my lip'

PC Billington can be seen walking towards the home, which is adorned with a number of Hallow'een decorations.

He approaches Mr Giggs, who is stood in the entrance lobby of the home and asks him: "Hello, you okay? What’s been going on?"

The ex-footballer goes on to to say how they had been  "out for a meal, few drinks in town" and then they'd "had an argument".

Mr Giggs told police: "I came home aske her to leave, why are you still here."

He added that he was looking for his phone and "we got into a little bit of a tangle, rumbled on the floor there...I've tried to get it [Ms Greville's phone] off her, struggled on the floor and she’s kicked me in the head, bust my lip."

He then goes on in the video to say there was a further "struggle" and "I've hit her in the lip".

12:06 PM

Bodycam footage played to court

Bodycam footage is being shown to the court of Pc Billington arriving at Ryan Giggs' home address.

He stays with Mr Giggs as a colleague speaks to Kate Greville.

11:46 AM

Ryan Giggs had bloodied mouth and Ms Greville had swollen and bruised lips, Pc says

The court heard a Pc Howarth was the first to arrive at the scene, but that he accidentally deleted his bodycam footage of the evening.

Having arrived at 10.20pm, the police officer noticed Mr Giggs had blood around his mouth and Ms Greville had swollen lips with "significant bruising".

11:37 AM

999 calls played to the court

Emma Greville called the police.

Much of it was inaudible, but screaming and shouting could be heard in the background and Emma Greville said "he's headbutted her".

We will bring you the full transcript later this morning.

As the two 999 calls were played to the court, Mr Giggs was listening intently, reading through the transcript from the dock.

11:21 AM

CCTV of police arriving played to court

A video of police arriving at Ryan Giggs' home was played to the jury.

It showed Kate Greville loading items into the boot of the Mercedes SUV which was leased by Mr Giggs but considered the PR executive's car.

Then, Mr Giggs arrives home.

The court previously heard how he arrived in his Range Rover with the  concierge at the Stock Exchange hotel in Manchester and a housekeeper.

As Mr Giggs arrives, the video shows his and Ms Greville's dog Mac running out into the driveway.

The former footballer can be seen walking into the house, with Mac in tow.

Mr Giggs walks to the car, removes items from the boot, and walks them to the garage area of the home.

He then carries what the court has previously heard was the dog cage from the boot to the house.

And he finally makes a third trip to the car, removing items and pressing a button to close the boot.

Mr Giggs later appears, walking out of the front door, carrying two bags to what the court previously heard was to the front gate in order for Ms Greville to leave in an Uber an not the Mercedes.

Then police arrive.

11:10 AM

Photographs shown to jury

Peter Wright QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, is taking the jury through a selection of photographs taken on Nov 1 - the day of the alleged headbutt.

He is taking the jury through a series of agreed facts.

11:00 AM

Slight delay

There is a slight delay to proceedings as we wait for the jury.

The judge, Peter Wright QC for the prosecution, and Marianne Alton for the defence - standing in for Chris Daw QC - are discussing legal matters.

10:34 AM

Ryan Giggs is in the dock

We await Judge Hilary Manley at court room two of Manchester Crown Court.

10:32 AM

The 16 key moments from day four

  1. In late October 2020, just days before an alleged headbutt at the centre of the trial, Kate Greville, 36, told a friend she was going to end her contraception in secret. When Mr Giggs became suspicious that something was afoot, the PR executive told him: “I had a smear test…And I had cancerous cells, I have to go to hospital on Thursday.” The ex-footballer responded in shock, and asked her what exactly the test had shown, to which she responded “high-grade dyskaryosis”.

  2. Chris Daw QC, for the defence, said that the pair continued to have “regular and enthusiastic sex” aftwerwards, and referring to the contraceptive coil that Ms Greville was getting removed without letting her then boyfriend know, "Your plan was to get pregnant by Mr Giggs, wasn’t it? "No, absolutely not," Ms Greville responded.

  3. Mr Daw QC pointed out that Ms Greville would have received a "significant amount of financial support for a very long time if she had fallen pregnant". "If that’s what happens," she answered.

  4. The court also heard how Ms Greville decided to lock down with the Manchester United great "for his large house and garden", despite claiming he was a serial and violent abuser. Asked why she decided to move in with Mr Giggs having not lived together before, instead of staying at her flat, Ms Greville said: “We were back in that cycle. He promised a family...I desperately wanted that and I wanted that to be true.”

  5. Mr Daw QC suggested: “It wasn’t that he had a large house with a garden and a more pleasant place to be locked down than a flat?” “Both my parents had large houses and large gardens, I could've gone there,” Ms Greville responded. To which Mr Daw QC said: “Yes, you could. Instead of having lockdown with someone who you claim is a serial abuser.”

  6. The court was shown a video of the then couple working out together in the garden as well as a video of the pair rapping to 50 Cent's In Da Club, both wearing sunglasses, and with Mr Giggs' hood up as he filmed. The jury heard how during lockdown they would have online quizzes with members of each other's family, they would do wine tasting on Zoom, Michelin-star chefs would bring them food and they would go on regular bike rides.

  7. But Ms Greville said the time was a “living hell” and pointed to an argument about the way Ms Greville loaded the dishwasher as an example of Mr Giggs’ coercion. The defence argued that this was a normal argument couples have, and that the footballer even criticised his own children in the same way because it was “one of his things”.

  8. It also emerged that Ms Greville staged a photograph of her walking her dog in a lane two weeks after an alleged headbutt on Nov 1, 2020 - which the defence say was an accidental clash of faces during a tussle for a phone which resulted in “minor” contact. The photograph appeared on the Sun Online website.

  9. In messages between Ms Greville and her friend, they discussed getting £5,000 for the picture to help with her legal costs and redecorating their flat. She had sent the same friend a message saying she needed a “plan” to leave Mr Giggs and that she wasn’t prepared to “walk away with nothing”.

  10. The defence also argued that Ms Greville “had a tiny, minor contact with Mr Giggs’ face, and you have enhanced that with makeup to make it look worse than it was, haven’t you?”.

  11. It emerged that in the weeks leading to Nov 1, Ms Greville had a medical procedure whereby filler was injected into her lips, which the defence said would have caused her face to be more sensitive and susceptible to swelling.

  12. The claimant told jurors yesterday that she was driven to send expletive messages to Mr Giggs if he did not instantly reply to his texts because he had “conditioned” her to be this way. The defence heard messages to Mr Giggs when he was on the school run with his children, which culminated in a message from Ms Greville which read: “And my own f---ing boyfriend cant reply to a message”. Thirty seconds after the expletive message, Mr Giggs messaged Ms Greville saying: "Wtf, I've just sorted the kids." To which Ms Greville responded: "So that’s stopped you replying to at least say you’re okay for an hour?" Mr Daw QC told the court: "So he's conditioned you into those messages?" Ms Greville said: "Ryan was attached to his phone. For him to not look at his phone for an hour - that was not normal at all." "You’re both as bad as each other," Mr Daw QC told her.

  13. The court was played bodycam footage of police talking to Ms Greville at the house she shared with Mr Giggs after she claims she was headbutted by him. The defence suggested that as she attempted to grab her phone from Mr Giggs’ pocket, their faces clashed and caused the impact.

  14. She told officers that the ex-footballer had headbutted her previously and had “hit her loads”, but in court yesterday admitted this was wrong, adding that her head was “all over the place”. In that same video, she told police she was “obviously kicking Mr Giggs in the face”.

  15. The defence accused Ms Greville of exaggerating her story and Mr Daw QC said: "Throughout the evidence from start to finish you've twisted the truth very, very carefully to try to implicate him in crimes he did not commit."

  16. An email from Ms Greville to Mr Giggs in August 2020 was read out to the court, in which she said: “You’re a liar, you're a cheat, you’re a narcissist, you’re a manipulator, you’re controlling, you’re aggressive, you’re violent, you’re a disappointment, no[sic] f— off out of my life.”