Gary Neville has been referred to the UK Attorney General for a social media post written during Ryan Giggs’ recent trial.
Former Manchester United player Gary Neville has been referred to the UK’s Attorney General for potential contempt of court charges after a social media message he posted which is alleged to have been in reference to his former teammate Ryan Giggs’ domestic violence trial.
Suella Braverman will now consider if the offending post had any impact on Giggs’ criminal trial after it was brought to the attention of Judge Hillary Manley during the court proceedings which ended on Wednesday with a hung jury.
Giggs, a friend and former teammate of Neville’s, had been charged with assault and coercive and controlling behavior related to a series of incidents with his former girlfriend Kate Greville and her younger sister.
Neville, though, is understood to have stated that the post – which appeared online at 4am on the day that Giggs’ trial was due to begin – was not in reference to his former teammate but to Manchester United as a whole, and their unpopular owners the US-based Glazer family.
Giggs’ lawyer, Chris Daw QC, maintained that his client had no influence over Neville posting the message in question.
“Gary is absolutely adamant that this was not about the case, but was referring to the Glazers,” his agent Di Law told the Daily Mail.
“Any suggestion otherwise is not true and he will take it very seriously.”
But despite the claims of his representatives, Neville is potentially facing a fine or a two year jail sentence under the maximum terms of his punishment if he is found to have been in contempt of court.
“Both the prosecution and defense agreed with me, in the absence of any comment from the jury, and given my clear direction, the trial could properly continue,” Judge Manley added.
“However, given the author is a person with a high public profile… it could be seen to be an attempt to influence ongoing criminal proceedings and could be contempt of court.
“Accordingly, I am referring the matter to the office of the Attorney General for the consideration of a potential prosecution.”
Neville was named several times in court in various capacities during the trial of Giggs, with whom he played for Manchester United for almost two decades.
A hearing is due to commence next week to determine if a retrial should be held next summer after the initial trial failed to return a conclusive verdict.