7 Nov 2015

Cairns co-defendant Fitch-Holland gives evidence in London

8:16 am on 7 November 2015

Chris Cairns' co-defendant in his London trial has told the court the former New Zealand cricketer was guilty only of "not keeping his trousers zipped up".

Andrew Fitch-Holland, 50, began giving evidence in his own defence at the Southwark Crown Court trial on Friday after Cairns's lawyers formally closed their case.

Fitch-Holland, a British barrister, faces a joint charge with Cairns of perverting the course of justice for allegedly trying to get former Black Cap Lou Vincent to provide a false statement for a 2012 libel case.

Another former New Zealand cricketer, Chris Harris, previously gave evidence about an occasion at an exhibition cricket match in 2010 when Fitch-Holland came up to him and a group of others.

Chris Cairns enters Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday 12 October 2015.

Chris Cairns enters Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday 12 October 2015. Photo: RNZ / Cushla Norman

Harris said someone asked what was going on with Cairns with regards to match-fixing rumours.

"Mr Fitch-Holland replied, to my surprise, 'Oh, he's guilty, Cairnsy's guilty'," Harris told the court.

However, Fitch-Holland on Friday disputed that, telling the court he was drunk at the time and did not remember the conversation.

"I would have said .... 'the only thing Chris Cairns is guilty of is not keeping his trousers zipped up'," Fitch-Holland said, referring to Cairns's affair and marriage breakup.

Fitch-Holland said he had asked Cairns when the rumours surfaced whether they were true.

"I told him 'The only way I can help you is if you tell me what actually happened'.

"He said 'It's all just pub talk and bullshit', and I was satisfied."

Fitch-Holland also described the moment he first learnt of Indian cricket boss Lalit Modi's Twitter post that said Cairns had been involved in match mixing.

"My mobile phone rang and it was Chris, freaking out, saying 'You won't believe this, Modi's f***ed me. I'm done, He's tweeted I'm involved in match fixing'."

The Crown's key evidence against Fitch-Holland is a recording of a Skype conversation between him and Vincent, in which he asked Cairns's former teammate to provide a statement for the libel case.

In the conversation, recorded by Vincent, Vincent is heard saying: "It's a big ask from me to in a legal document to say something that isn't true."

However, Fitch-Holland told the court he had not asked Vincent to lie.

"At the time of the Skype call, I had no idea that Lou Vincent had ever been involved in match fixing or spot fixing. I had no reason to believe he was anything other than an honest, decent chap," Fitch-Holland said.

"At the time of the Skype call, I had no reason, nor do I now, to believe that Chris Cairns had been involved in match fixing or spot fixing."

Fitch-Holland will return to the witness box for cross examination when the trial resumes on Monday.

Cairns also faces a charge of perjury in relation to the libel case in which he stated he "never cheated at cricket".

- AAP

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