Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Monday gave evidence in the trial of a woman accused of harassing him and his family by turning up at his home on several occasions.

Susanne Ibru, 38, was allegedly seen outside Ferdinand’s home in Cheshire, northwest England, three times between February and June last year, Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court heard.

Ibru denies the charges.

Ferdinand, 32, said he had felt unsettled when Ibru appeared outside his home for the first time in the early hours of February 21.

“At first I was angry and upset but then disturbed, really, because I have got a young family and this was not the time or the place to be coming to speak to me,” said Ferdinand.

Ferdinand called United’s security staff, who alerted the police, before watching Ibru walk away on his CCTV system.

The woman returned to the premises twice, on June 16 and June 18.

On the first occasion, having just returned from training, Ferdinand called the police and then tried to prevent Ibru from leaving by engaging her in conversation.

“My main concern was to keep her there until the police arrived,” he said.

“I asked why she had come to my house and she told me ‘Things needed to be resolved’, and that they couldn’t be resolved until we spoke.

“I told her I would speak to her then but she said it would take a couple of hours.”

Ibru was given a formal warning by police to leave Ferdinand and his wife, Rebecca, alone, but she turned up at his house again only two days later, once again in the early hours of the morning.

Ferdinand called police and Ibru was arrested.

“The safety of my family is as huge to me as it is to anyone,” said the England international.

“Then you have people at your door talking about things that don’t make sense. You want to be left alone with your family.”