In a statement issued on Thursday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) announced that criminal proceedings against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood have been discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The 21-year-old football star was arrested in January 2022 on suspicion of rape and assault and was arrested again in February on suspicion of sexual assault and making threats to kill.
According to Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection, the investigation team remained in regular contact with the legal team and understood the rationale behind discontinuing the proceedings at this stage. She stated, “The decision has not been taken lightly.”
The statement from Greater Manchester Police emphasized the force’s commitment to investigating allegations of violence against women and girls and supporting victims throughout what can be a hard and upsetting time. Kerr added, “An ever-increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training and the force is more consistently utilizing tools available via the criminal justice system to keep people safe and care for victims.”
The CPS also issued a statement regarding the decision to discontinue the proceedings. A spokesperson stated, “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.”
The CPS encouraged potential victims to come forward and report to the police and stated that they would prosecute wherever their legal test is met.
Greenwood was suspended by Manchester United after the allegations against him came to light and his sponsorship deal with Nike was terminated. Despite the suspension, he remained under contract at Old Trafford and was receiving his £75,000-a-week wage. Manchester United has yet to comment on the latest development.
This news is a relief for Greenwood, who has been facing a stressful and uncertain time since his initial arrest. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of due process and the impartiality of the criminal justice system. The thorough and impartial handling of this case by the Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police is commendable.
It is important to note that just because charges have been dropped does not necessarily mean that the individual is innocent. In this case, the CPS concluded that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction based on the evidence available.
Greenwood has been an important player for Manchester United and has shown immense potential in his young career. He has made 32 appearances for the club, scoring 7 goals in the process. Many fans and followers of the club will be looking forward to seeing him back on the field soon.
In conclusion, the discontinuation of proceedings against Mason Greenwood serves as a reminder of the complex and sensitive nature of criminal investigations and the impact they can have on an individual’s life. The decision by the Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police to drop the charges against the young footballer shows their commitment to impartiality and due process in handling criminal cases.
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