What happens when a jury is discharged and will Ryan Giggs face a retrial?

The former football star denies the charges against him

Ryan Giggs in a navy suit looking at the camera
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The jury in the Ryan Giggs trial failed to reach a verdict, leaving many wondering what happens when a jury is discharged.

The former Manchester United player has denied the charges against him, during a four week long trial. The high profile case has had people a up and down the country asking questions such as who is Kate Greville (opens in new tab) - Ryan Giggs' ex-girlfriend - what is he accused of and what will happen if he loses the case.

Following 23 hours of deliberations, the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict on the charges. Now that the trial has come to an end, those following along with the proceedings are wondering what happens when a jury is discharged and what's next for Ryan Giggs?

What happens when a jury is discharged?

When a jury is discharged because they cannot agree on a verdict, usually the defendant will be tried again by a different jury - known as a retrial. The prosecution are given 7 days to decide if they wish to proceed for a second time. 

In the Ryan Giggs trial, Judge Manley discharged the jury after they had been deliberating for a total of 22 hours and 59 minutes. When they were brought back into court, the judge asked if there was any ‘realistic prospect’ of them reaching verdicts if given more time, to which the foreman answered ‘No.’

If the jury is unable to reach a verdict after a second trial, it is rare to have a further retrial. Instead, it is most common for the prosecution to offer no evidence, which results in a Not Guilty verdict.

What is a hung jury?

Hung jury is the term used to refer to a jury that is not able to agree on a verdict. 

Most cases require all jurors (usually there will be 12 of them) to reach a unanimous decision to return either a Guilty or Not Guilty verdict on each of the charges. In the Ryan Giggs trial, there were only 11 jurors, after one fell unwell. 

On Monday 30 August, after the jury had been considering the verdict for 16 hours and 34 minutes, Judge Manley said she would accept a majority verdict. This meant that the jury could make a decision that ten out of the 11 on the panel agreed with.

Will Ryan Giggs face a retrial?

It is not yet known whether Ryan Giggs will face a retrial, as the Crown Prosecution Service (opens in new tab) (CPS) has a week to decide whether to pursue the case.

CPS guidance states that "The decision to seek a re-trial will depend upon the public interest. Only cases involving significant public interest factors in favour of prosecution warrant a re-trial."

After discharging the jury, Judge Manley told Giggs that he would be bailed until CPS lawyers meet and make a decision on any future trial and a trial date is made. He was excused from attending the next hearing on 7 September.

If a retrial is arranged in this case, it is unlikely to take place until June 2023.

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What was the trial about?

Ryan Giggs has been accused of assaulting Kate Greville when she was his girlfriend, as well as controlling and coercive behaviour towards her.

The former Manchester United player is charged with causing actual bodily harm to Greville by headbutting, as well as the common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, in an altercation that occurred in November 2020.

Giggs was arrested at the time and spent the night in a police cell, before being released on bail pending further inquiries.

When giving evidence at the trial, Giggs said that the night he spent in a police cell was the 'worst experience of [his] life' and that he got 'hardly any sleep'.

Giggs denies all the charges against him, and said Greville was instead injured in a 'tug of war' after attempting to grab her phone during an argument. He told the jury: "Kate was just grabbing my wrist and wanted to get my hand out of my pocket ... The tugging just got a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more to and fro."

"It happened really quickly, the tugging got more aggressive and then it was just sort of my lips against hers. I could quite clearly see she was hurt."

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What would happen if Ryan Giggs loses?

It is not known what exact sentence Giggs may face if he loses any re-trial, however the Sentencing Council guidelines say the maximum sentence for actual bodily harm is 5 years' custody, while the minimum sentence is a fine.

For common assault, which Giggs is charged with regarding Greville's sister, the maximum sentence is sixth months' custody while the minimum is discharge - meaning he would be released from court without further action.

For the controlling and coercive behaviour charge, if found guilty in a re-trial, Giggs could face a maximum sentence of 5 years' custody, or a minimum sentence of a community order.

Ryan Giggs trial: Key moments

  • The jury heard that Giggs' 'coercive and controlling behaviour' consisted of threatening to send images ‘of a personal nature’ to Greville's friends, throwing her belongings out of his house and appearing unwanted at her home.
  • Kate Greville claims she discovered that Giggs was having affairs with eight different women while they were together, which she discovered by checking his iPad.
  • Giggs told the jury that his reputation for infidelity was justified, and that he hasn't been faithful to any of the women he has been with.
  • Kate Greville admitted she staged a photo of her bruised lip following the alleged assault, which she sold to The Sun (opens in new tab).
  • Giggs has accused Kate Greville of secretly trying to get pregnant for money when she lied about having her coil removed - though she has denied that this was her motivation.
  • Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said while giving evidence that he 'never' saw the footballer become angry or aggressive in the 24 years he managed him.

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