Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood ‘relieved’ as attempted rape and sexual assault charges against him dropped
Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has had all criminal charges against him dropped.
The striker, 21, was charged in October with one count of attempted rape, one count of controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and had been due to face trial in November.
The Crown Prosecution Service said on Thursday the decision had been taken to discontinue prosecution.
A 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.”
Greenwood, in statement released on Thursday, said he is “relieved” at the decision.
In a short statement released on his behalf, the 21-year-old 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.”
The alleged offences related to one woman. He was charged with attempting to rape her on October 21, 2021, and was also accused of assaulting her between December 12, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
The England footballer was accused of “repeatedly engaging” in controlling and coercive behaviour for almost four years - including making threats and derogatory comments on social media.
The star was originally remanded in custody after being charged by police on October 15.
But a judge released him on the condition he does not contact witnesses, including the complainant, and resided at an address in Bowdon.
He was first arrested in January last year after police swooped on his mansion. He was suspended by Manchester United following his arrest, last playing for the club on January 22.
Greater Manchester Police said: “Criminal proceedings against a 21-year-old man in connection with an investigation opened in January 2022 have, today (Thursday 2 February 2023), been discontinued by the CPS.”
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, said: “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.
“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."
The Bradford-born player came through the United academy and made his senior debut for the Red Devils in a Champions League victory away to Paris St Germain in March 2019.
He has one senior cap for England, playing in the Nations League match against Iceland in September 2020.
A statement from Manchester United said: “Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped. The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps.”