England and Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood is currently out on bail, but remains under ongoing police investigation, based on charges related to the “rape and assault of a young woman” and “suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill”.
The dramatic story broke across the globe when one-time girlfriend Harriet Robson was seen to have shared a post on Instagram at the end of January, which revealed bruises and cuts on her body with a caption stating: “To everyone who wants to know what Mason Greenwood actually does to me”.
The series of disturbing images clearly indicate a case of domestic abuse, while an audio clip seemingly implicates Greenwood in abusive and threatening behaviour.
Below is how the case against Greenwood has unfolded:
30 January: Pictures, an audio clip and a video appear on social media showing Robson bruised and bloodied. The images are later deleted from her account, but spread like wildfire across social media.
30 January: Soon after the incident came to light, Manchester United release a statement to say “we are aware of images and allegations circulating on social media”. Later on that Sunday, United confirm Greenwood has been suspended indefinitely: “Mason Greenwood will not return to training or play matches until further notice.”
30 January: According to overseas website Joe.co.uk, Robson’s father subsequently releases a statement revealing that Robson’s phone was ‘hacked’ and that she didn’t want the pictures to be released. “She has told us her phone has been hacked. We told her to take it down, which she has done but it’s out there now so it is too late,” Robson’s father was quoted as saying by Joe.co.uk. “She is devastated because she didn’t want it released. We have known him (Greenwood) since the under 21s. He has been part of our family for two or three years. Their relationship has not been good for the last few months. She is completely devastated by it all.”
30 January: News emerges that Greenwood has been arrested on “suspicion of rape and assault”, with the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) stating they had been granted more time to question him.
31 January: Further charges are levelled against Greenwood based “on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill”.
1 February: United release a new statement following developments, saying: “Manchester United reiterates its strong condemnation of violence of any kind. As previously communicated, Mason Greenwood will not train with, or play for, the club until further notice.”
2 February: The 20-year-old is released on bail while a police investigation continues.
3 February: Manchester United allow supporters who have purchased shirts with Greenwood’s name printed on them to change them for another shirt and name of their choice.
4 February: Harriet Robson expresses gratitude for support after Greenwood arrest in her first public comment since the story came to light. “The last few days have been very difficult and I’m taking a break from social media while the police make their investigations,” she writes.
7 February: Nike confirms that it has terminated its endorsement agreement with the England and Manchester United striker.
8 February: Reports suggest that the Man United changeroom has been divided over the manner in which the Greenwood case has been handled by the club, while players including Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo and Victor Lindelof are said to have cut off the 20-year-old from social media.
11 February: It’s reported that Greenwood will receive no compensation after being dropped from his Nike sponsorship deal, but will continue to be paid his £75,000-a-week salary from United pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings.
02 April: Greenwood is spotted in Cheshire for the first time since his arrest on suspicion of rape and assault. Greenwood covered his face in a black balaclava while driving a flashy Mercedes-Benz CLA.
09 April: Manchester United reassert that the young striker remains indefinitely suspended as a ‘legal process unfolds’. “His profile was never removed from the website as he remains a Manchester United player, albeit not currently part of the squad while the legal process unfolds,” a statement read.
11 April: A video emerged showing Greenwood being hassled and heckled by an onlooker. A man could be seen shouting comments at Greenwood, who is is clearly exasperated by the interaction, and seemingly swipes his hand for the man to leave him alone.
29 April: It is finally confirmed that police have applied to the courts to extend his bail, which was set to expire at the end of April. Greater Manchester Police said: “We are continuing to investigate a report made to us on Sunday 30 January of online social media images and videos posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical violence. A 20-year-old man arrested that day on suspicion of the rape and assault of a woman, and threats to kill, remains on bail. An application has been made to the courts to have his bail extended beyond Saturday 30 April, but the hearing isn’t expected to be until mid-June. The suspect will remain on conditional bail until the date of the court hearing.”
6 May: Manchester United’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick refers to the ongoing police investigation surrounding Mason Greenwood as a “human disaster”. “The issue around Mason was a disaster for everybody… It’s not good for himself, obviously, and for his family it hasn’t been good but it also hasn’t been good for our club. He was regularly playing at the time.”
27 May: It now remains to be seen what the outcome will be after the key hearing in mid-June.
*Content warning: This article contains graphic images and viewer discretion is advised.