The charges of attempted rape and assault against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood have been dismissed.
The 21 year old Manchester United striker was arrested in January 2022 amid allegations surrounding images and videos but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the case against him for attempted rape.
The case was dropped due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light, leaving no realistic prospect of conviction.
In a statement released on his behalf, Greenwood expressed his relief at the outcome and thanked his family and friends for their support.
The statement said…
“I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
A CPS spokesperson emphasized the importance of encouraging potential victims to come forward and report to the police, as they will prosecute wherever the legal test is met.
A CPS spokesperson said…
“We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review.
“In this case, a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.
“We have explained our decision to all parties.
“We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”
The Manchester United footballer had been facing charges of attempted rape, assault, and repeated engagement in coercive and controlling behaviour.
He was accused of attempting to rape the complainant in October 2021 and of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in December of that year. The case collapsed in April 2022 when key witnesses withdrew their cooperation from the police investigation.
Given Greenwood’s high profile and the seriousness of the allegations, police and prosecutors initially decided to continue with the case. However, after a review by CPS lawyers, it was concluded that there was no realistic prospect of conviction.
An internal investigation is still underway at Manchester United, and the striker is not expected to return to the team until it is concluded.
Greater Manchester police’s head of public protection, Ch Supt Michaela Kerr, used the opportunity to emphasize the police’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected.
“I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate the force’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting those affected, regardless of their circumstances, throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time for them.”
Manchester United also released a statement, noting the decision of the CPS and indicating that they will conduct their process before determining the next steps.
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