The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has explained why charges of attempted rape, assault and coercive control against Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
Greenwood, 21, was arrested at his home in January amid a series of allegations against the footballer, with a number of images and videos posted on social media. He was immediately suspended by Manchester United in the wake of the allegations.
After being released on bail, he was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Greenwood was due to stand trial in November but it was announced on Thursday by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) that all charges against him had been dropped.
The CPS said the charges were discontinued after key witnesses withdrew their involvement in the case and new material came to light.
"We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review," a spokesperson said.
"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."
On Thursday, a GMP statement confirmed that Greenwood would no longer be facing criminal proceedings.
"Given the significant media coverage of this case, it is only fair that we share the news that the 21-year-old man, who had been arrested and charged in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022, no longer faces criminal proceedings in relation to this," said GMP’s head of public protection, chief superintendent Michaela Kerr.
"The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.
"Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.
"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."
Manchester United are yet to release a statement on the charges against Greenwood being dropped.
His most recent appearance for the club came against West Ham United on January 22, 2022 before he was suspended.
In total, Greenwood has played 129 times in all competitions for United, scoring 35 times.
He is also a full England international, having won one cap for the Three Lions – a Nations League win away against Iceland in 2020.
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Topics: Manchester United, Mason Greenwood, Football, Premier League