In the Ryan Giggs assault trial in the UK yesterday, Giggs himself began giving evidence in his defence.
His defence counsel commenced the direct examination in what may appear to be an unusual way and with a surprising strategy. But to legal professionals, be they UK based or Irish, it was a powerful strategy that was used.
It is what I have described as ‘the damaging admission’ strategy or tactic. I have made a video about this in the past.
What Giggs’ defence QC did at the beginning of the questioning of his client was to put it to Giggs that he was known the world over for two things: football and his infidelity in his relationships.
He went on to get Giggs to admit he was unfaithful in all his relationships, had cheated all his wives/partners, and lied freely to them. This was the damaging admission.
He went on to ask him had he ever hit a woman or assaulted the alleged victim in this assault trial, and he denied ever hitting a woman in his life.
This denial ought to have had more credibility arising from the damaging admission that Giggs made at the outset that he was a liar and a cheat.
This tactic of acknowledging wrongdoing and a refusal to paint one’s story as whiter than white is designed to give the ultimate denial and further evidence more credibility. So Giggs’ denial of assault may carry more heft than if he had failed to make the damaging admission in the first instance.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case. But this tactic can be used in a great deal of scenarios, not just in legal cases or WRC or Labour Court hearings.
For example, in selling it is a powerful tactic too.