24 Nov 2015

Judge summing up in Cairns perjury trial

8:43 am on 24 November 2015

The judge in Chris Cairns' perjury trial has warned the jury to only consider certain evidence from the ex wife of former cricketer Lou Vincent.

Cairns has been on trial for the past eight weeks in London's Southwark Crown Court accused of lying under oath about match-fixing during a libel case in 2012.

In that trial he said: "I have never, ever cheated at cricket. Nor would I ever contemplate such a thing."

Three witnesses are central to the Crown case - Vincent and Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum, who said Cairns approached them in 2008 to fix, and Vincent's former wife Eleanor Riley

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Justice Sweeney warned the jury not to consider what Vincent had told Ms Riley, but rather focus on an alleged conversation between her and Cairns during a night out in 2008.

In her evidence, Ms Riley recounted a drunken conversation on 25 June where she expressed concerns to Cairns about Vincent's match-fixing.

She told him she thought too many players were involved and that they were too greedy, and was concerned they would get caught.

She said Cairns told her "everybody did it in India and they would not get caught".

Cairns denies any such conversation took place.

The judge has also advised jurors to be cautious in assessing Vincent's evidence because; "he might have his own interests to serve."

Vincent confessed to fixing in 2013, naming Cairns and others he said he fixed for.

In his summing up, Justice Nigel Sweeney told the jury of seven women and five men that if they were sure two of the three witnesses were telling the truth, then they were open to convicting Cairns of perjury.

Cairns also faces a second charge of perverting the course of justice along with his co-defendant, English barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland.

Justice Sweeney told the jury they must consider the perjury charge first and if they found Cairns guilty then they could rely on it in considering the second count.

However, he said if they found Cairns not guilty of perjury, then he also must be found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

The "critical issue" in determining the perjury verdict was whether the prosecution had convinced the jury Cairns was a cheat, Justice Sweeney said.

The judge will sum up evidence from third witness McCullum tomorrow, with the jury likely to retire in the afternoon.