Footballer Mason Greenwood has attempted rape and assault charges against him dropped
Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has had attempted rape and assault charges against him dropped.
The Crown Prosecution Service said the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light were factors in its decision to stop the case against the 21-year-old.
Greater Manchester Police said it was “only fair” that they announced that Greenwood would no longer face criminal proceedings given the intense interest in the case.
The striker had faced one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, all against the same complainant.
A CPS spokesperson said the withdrawal of key witnesses and the new material “meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.
It said in these circumstances it had a duty to stop the case and had explained its 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,” it added.
In a statement released on Thursday, Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, the force’s head of public protection, said it understood the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that “this decision has not been taken lightly”.
Mr Kerr said: “I would, however, like to use this opportunity to reiterate GMP’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. An ever-increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilising tools, available via the criminal justice system, to keep people safe and care for victims.
“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help.”
A decision has been made to discontinue prosecution in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
Greenwood was first held in January 2022 over the allegations after images and videos were posted online.
He was bailed but was arrested in October for an alleged breach of conditions.
Within hours of the allegations surfacing online at the beginning of the year, the forward – who has made one appearance for England – was suspended from playing or training with the Old Trafford club.
Nike suspended and later terminated its sponsorship deal with Greenwood while Electronic Arts confirmed he had been removed from active squads on its Fifa 22 game.