Nicky Butt: Assault charge dropped against ex-Man Utd player
Prosecutors have dropped an assault charge against ex-Manchester United footballer Nicky Butt.
The 45-year-old was accused of beating his estranged wife Shelley Barlow in Hale, Greater Manchester, on 16 April.
He was due to face trial next week but the case has been discontinued after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence. He has accepted a caution.
Ms Barlow did not want to give evidence against her husband, the Press Association reported.
An investigation was launched after police were called to an address where they found a woman who had suffered a small cut to her hand.
Mr Butt, who is head of coaching at the Manchester United youth academy, had previously pleaded not guilty to common assault and causing £800 of criminal damage to Ms Barlow's mobile phone.
"We have a duty to keep all cases under review and following the receipt of new material have decided to discontinue this prosecution," a spokesman said.
"Mr Butt has agreed to accept a caution for criminal damage."
'Abuse of process'
At a previous hearing, Lisa Roberts QC, said it would be her client Mr Butt's case that he did not know how the complainant came about any injury.
A preliminary hearing was due to take place on Wednesday in which his legal team was expected to argue the case should be thrown out as an abuse of process - partly questioning the proportionality of continuing with the prosecution.
Mr Butt, from Bowdon, Altrincham, won a string of Premier League titles in his playing career at Old Trafford and also played in the club's dramatic last-gasp 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Uefa Champions League final.
He later went on to play for Newcastle United, Birmingham City and South China.