Chris Cairns perjury trial November 30, 2015

How the Cairns trial unfolded

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Cairns has been found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice following a nine-week trial at Southwark Crown Court. Here's how the events unfolded:

Monday, October 5

Mr Justice Sweeney, the presiding judge at Southwark Crown Court, outlines the case to the 16 shortlisted men and women of the jury, of whom 12 will be sworn in on Wednesday. His "pessimistic" view is that the trial will extend until November 20.

Monday, October 12

Lou Vincent, the first of the witnesses to be called for the prosecution, claims he was under "direct orders" from Cairns to get involved in match-fixing. His introduction had come while playing for Chandigarh Lions during the 2008 Indian Cricket League.

Tuesday, October 13

During his second day on the witness stand, Vincent recalls how Daryl Tuffey, an alleged fellow member of the Chandigarh Lions match-fixing operation, threatened to "f****** kill" Cairns for non-payment. Under cross-examination from Orlando Pownall, QC, Vincent's emotional state causes an early adjournment.

Wednesday, October 14

Vincent recalls how Stephen Fleming, the former New Zealand captain, accused him and Cairns of being "dirty". Despite claiming to have been "disgusted" at Cairns' lies, Vincent nevertheless agreed to support his libel action against Modi. The reason for this, suggests Cairns' defence, was "there was no corrupt activity … and you could give a truthful account."

Thursday, October 15

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, tells how he had been approached three times by Cairns to get involved in spot-fixing, but did not report this to the authorities for three years because he "did not want it to be true". The defence queries the inconsistencies in McCullum's three statements to the ICC, claiming that his main concern was to protect his lucrative "Brand McCullum".

Friday, October 16

Andre Adams and Kyle Mills, two former New Zealand team-mates, take the stand via videolink. Adams recalls how Cairns had doubted how the ICL could prevent corruption because it was an unsanctioned event. Mills states that he had been "gobsmacked" in 2009, when McCullum admitted his approach from Cairns.

Monday, October 19

Eleanor Riley, Vincent's ex-wife, tells the court of a key conversation in a bar in Hale, Greater Manchester, in which Cairns calmed her fears about her husband's activities by saying "everyone was doing it in India". Riley insists her recall was "clear as a bell" despite the defence suggesting she had been "infected" by alcohol. "I certainly wouldn't come to a perjury trial to lie," she adds.

Tuesday, October 20

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, confirms he was present in a bar in Kolkata in 2008 when McCullum claims to have been first approached by Cairns to spot-fix. McCullum, he said, described a five-minute phone-call with "Cairnsy" as a "business proposition".

Tuesday, October 20

Leanne McGoldrick, McCullum's former agent, recalls how her client had asked her during a dinner in Christchurch whether she thought Cairns was involved in match-fixing. "I was completely shocked," she says. "I couldn't believe what he was saying." She encouraged McCullum to report the approach but their business relationship ended soon afterwards.

Wednesday, October 21

John Rhodes, the ICC anti-corruption officer, says that McCullum's initial statement to the ACSU in February 2011 omitted any explicit mention of "match-fixing". Rhodes tells the defence that the "inference was clear" in the statement but says that he was not in a "position to put words" into McCullum's mouth.

Wednesday, October 21

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the chairman of the ACSU, denies the defence's assertion that the "scalp" of Cairns is being sought to deflect criticism away from his unit's lack of success in tackling corruption. "Absolutely not," he says. "If scalp turns out to be an appropriate description, I think it is an absolute tragedy."

Thursday, October 22

Daniel Vettori tells the court he was "shocked and angry" upon hearing that his "mentor" Cairns was allegedly involved in match-fixing. He encouraged McCullum to report Cairns' approaches following an anti-corruption briefing in 2011, but played down his own request for Cairns to buy him a US$15,000 diamond ring with the proceeds from a toothpaste commercial in 2006 as "innocuous".

Monday, October 26

Chris Harris, the captain of the ICL franchise Mumbai Champs, claims that Cairns had worn an "unusual" expression after Chandigarh's wicketkeeper, Sarabjit Singh, had won a match featuring an "unusual number of strange incidents" with 41 not out from 22 balls. Harris also claims that Andrew Fitch-Holland, Cairns' co-defendant, had stated "Cairnsy's guilty" during a Lashings charity game ahead of the libel case. The comment, it was suggested, could have related to his marital issues.

Tuesday, October 27

Vincent's mental state made him "vulnerable" to approaches from match-fixers, according to his friend and former Auckland team-mate, Steve Pearson. In his own testimony, Vincent had outlined how he had struggled with depression since being dropped by New Zealand in 2007. Confessing to his involvement in match-fixing was, Pearson said of Vincent, "a release".

Wednesday, October 28

Cairns' statements to the Metropolitan Police in April and May 2014, following the allegations from McCullum, Vincent and Riley, are played back to the court. "Seriously? These are the accusations in regard to this?" Cairns is heard saying. "This is why I can't get money, this is why I can't make a living? This is it? I don't want to seem like a whack job. I've been wracking my brains for months, I've been f**ked over."

Thursday, October 29

Cairns' defence questions the motives of the police investigation, in particular why there was no move to charge Vincent for his admissions of match-fixing and money-laundering. Detective chief superintendant Michael Duthrie said his force was interested only in what happened at the High Court, but added that Vincent had not been granted immunity from prosecution.

Tuesday, November 3

Cairns takes the stand for the first time in the trial but limits his responses largely to one-word answers. Asked by Pownall, his barrister, whether at any stage he was involved in match-fixing, Cairns replied: "No." "Did you contemplate match-fixing?" Pownall continued. Cairns again replied: "No."

Wednesday, November 4

Cairns receives a warning from the judge for evasion during a cross-examination from the prosecution. Mr Justice Sweeney told him to stop "making speeches" as he struggles to give straight answers to Ms Wass' line of questioning.

Thursday, November 5

Cairns' wife, Mel, denies that any discussion about match-fixing had taken place in the Manhattan Bar and Grill in 2008, the scene of Riley's alleged encounter with Cairns. "I would never lie to help my husband in court," she said via videolink, adding that the couple had not been able to afford for her to fly to the UK to support him during the trial.

Friday, November 6

Fitch-Holland, Cairns' co-defendant, denies attempting to procure a false witness statement from Vincent during a recorded Skype conversation. He also denies all memory of a conversation at a charity cricket match in which he was alleged to have declared that "Cairnsy's guilty".

Monday, November 9

Under cross-examination, Fitch-Holland is reminded of an incident in 2009 in which Rod Marsh, the former Australia wicketkeeper, refused to sign a cricket bat which already had Cairns' name on it. It was a sign, said the prosecution, that players had been "warned off" associating with Cairns. Fitch-Holland, however, said that the ICC had told him he was not under investigation.

Tuesday, November 10

Fitch-Holland is accused by the prosecution of inventing a convoluted story to explain his "very guilty words" in the Skype conversation with Vincent. "I've come up with the truth," Fitch-Holland says. "I'm saying Lou Vincent is a self-confessed liar, and a cheat … I hoped I would be believed over him, as I hope now I will be believed over him."

Thursday, November 12

Ms Wass closes the case for the prosecution by describing Cairns as the "Lance Armstrong" of cricket. The evidence that he was involved in match-fixing is "overwhelming", she says. "He has made a mockery of the game of cricket, the fans, the game."

Monday, November 16

Cairns' barrister, Pownall, denounces four of the nine witnesses for the prosecution as liars, namely Vincent, McCullum, Vettori and Riley. Cricket's authorities, Pownall added, were "determined to have the scalp of an innocent man".

Tuesday, November 17

The case for the prosecution was "biased" from the outset, according to Pownall. "Beyond rumour, beyond self-motivated lies, you cannot be sure Mr Cairns is guilty. For that reason, we invite you to acquit him."

Wednesday, November 18

Jonathan Laidlaw QC, Fitch-Holland's barrister, protests that his client's case has become a "sideshow". "The prosecution has become rather too Cairns-focused in this case," says Laidlaw. "Have they overlooked that there is a second man on trial here?"

Friday, November 20

Mr Justice Sweeney, beginning his summing-up, warns the jury to treat Vincent's evidence with caution, given a self-confessed reputation for lying. "It is incumbent on me to emphasise to you the potential danger posed by such a witness and point out to you that he might have his own interests to serve by giving evidence."

Monday, November 23

The evidence provided by Ms Riley is highlighted by the judge as "the most important", seeing as it stemmed from a direct conversation with Cairns. Mr Justice Sweeney also reminded the jury of Andrew Hall's testimony, that Cairns had told him his suspension from the ICL had been for match-fixing allegations. It was not, however, "evidence of the truth" per se.

Tuesday, November 24

The jury retires to consider its verdict at the completion of Mr Justice Sweeney's summing-up. It is a "matter for you", he tells them after outlining McCullum's evidence, whether they believed he altered his ICC statements deliberately to serve his own interests, or as a consequence of more careful questioning in each of his three interviews with the ACSU.

Friday, November 27

After a two-day break, the jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict in its initial deliberations. Court is reconvened at 11.44am in order for the judge to grant them permission to seek a majority verdict of 11-1 or 10-2. With no time pressure, the hearing is adjourned for the weekend at 4.30pm.

Monday, November 30

After 10 hours and 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury find Cairns not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice. His co-defendant, Fitch-Holland, is also acquitted on the second charge. Speaking after the verdict, a relieved Cairns speaks of the five-year "hell" through which he and his family have been put, but admits that his reputation in cricket has been "scorched".

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