Former Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville has been referred to the attorney general over a social media post during Ryan Giggs’s domestic violence trial.
Judge Hilary Manley referred the potential contempt of court to the government’s top lawyer during a hearing on Wednesday at Manchester Crown Court, after the Giggs trial collapsed.
“Both the prosecution and defence agreed with me, in the absence of any comment from the jury, and given my clear direction, the trial could properly continue,” she said.
“However, given the author is a person with a high public profile, [the comment] could be seen to be an attempt to influence ongoing criminal proceedings and could be contempt of court.
“Accordingly, I am referring the matter to the office of the attorney general for the consideration of a potential investigation.”
Neville, 47, denies the statement in question was made in relation to the trial.
The Sky Sport pundit’s agent has reportedly said the post referred not to the trial but to how the Glazer family are running Manchester United.
Contempt of court is an offence punishable by a fine or up to two years in prison.
The jury in the trial of Giggs was discharged on Wednesday after failing to reach verdicts for any of the three charges.
The former Manchester United winger, 48, was appointed manager of Wales in 2018, but was suspended in 2020 and stepped down in June this year.
He has denied headbutting his ex-partner Kate Greville, 38, during a row at his home in November 2020 and also denies controlling behaviour, as well as assaulting Ms Greville’s sister Emma, 26.
During the trial, his former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was among the character witnesses to give evidence.
The Crown Prosecution Service has seven days to decide whether to apply for a retrial, which would not be able to take place until at least June 2023.
Giggs and Neville came through the youth ranks together at Manchester United and both spent almost two trophy-laden decades at the club.
Alongside former teammates Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, the pair bought Salford City in 2014.