Charges brought against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
The 21-year-old striker 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.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light were factors in their decision to stop the case against Greenwood.
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.”
Greater Manchester Police said it was “only fair” that they announce that that Greenwood would no longer face criminal proceedings.
Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, Greater Manchester Police’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.”
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