Former Man Utd defender Gary Neville apologised for his “clumsy” decision to like a tweet about Mason Greenwood after his attempted rape and assault charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Greater Manchester Police said criminal proceedings against a 21-year-old man had been discontinued as of February 2.
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.”
Greenwood, who has been suspended by United since news of his arrest in January last year was confirmed, said in a statement: “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.”
United also issued a statement, which read: “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. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”
Neville caused a backlash on social media last night when he liked a tweet from a former CPS director of public prosecutions Nazir Afzal, which read: “you are innocent till PROVEN guilty”, adding: “We don’t have trial by media. We don’t have evidence that any witnesses were lying.
“We don’t do ‘victim or complainant blaming’.”
Neville apologised, he wrote: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. (the former director of public prosecutions).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
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