Cairns' lawyers call for Vincent to face criminal charges

By Nick Hoult of the Telegraph

Former Black Cap player Lou Vincent has admitted to match-fixing. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Former Black Cap player Lou Vincent has admitted to match-fixing. Photo / Brett Phibbs

British lawyers acting for Chris Cairns have reported Lou Vincent to the Metropolitan Police in a bid to have him prosecuted for match fixing.

Detectives from Scotland Yard could pursue a criminal case against Vincent after receiving the complaint, which is based around his confession to fixing cricket matches while playing in England for Lancashire and Sussex.

"I can confirm that on 2 July 2014 I referred Mr Vincent's serious criminal activities to the Metropolitan Police Service with a view to his prosecution," said Rhory Robertson, partner at Collyer Bristow, solicitors acting for Cairns in England.

"Our legal system has as its core the principle that all people are treated equally before the law. No one, including the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] and the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service], can be unreasonably selective as to when and against whom they apply the law. Lou Vincent's admitted offences are serious and have so far gone unsanctioned. This failure to prosecute is unacceptable."

The Herald's investigation into the ICC's match-fixing inquiry

The Metropolitan Police were contacted for a comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

Vincent admitted to accepting £40,000 to fix matches while playing for Sussex in 2011 and also confessed to fixing as a Lancashire player in 2008. He was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board in July after pleading guilty to 18 corruption offences.

In recent years three Pakistan cricketers and Mervyn Westfield, an Essex fast bowler, have been jailed for corruption offences but no charges have been laid against Vincent.

The Metropolitan Police have investigated Cairns and passed on a file to the Crown Prosecution Service over suspicions of perverting the course of justice relating to the libel trial he won against Lalit Modi in 2012, who had accused him of fixing. Robertson confirmed that the CPS has not made a decision to charge Cairns although a ruling is expected in the final week of this month.

Cairns to learn fate within 14 days

Cairns is living in New Zealand and facing financial ruin over his legal battles. His friend and former team-mate, Dion Nash, recently told media that Cairns, once one of the best-paid cricketers in the world, is driving a council truck in Auckland and water blasting bus shelters for $17 an hour.

Vincent has kept a low profile since a string of interviews after he was banned but is understood to be providing fresh information to the anti-corruption police. His evidence has also formed the basis of the police investigation into Cairns.

Despite the fact four cricketers have been jailed in this country, sources have indicated there is no longer an appetite to pursue criminal charges for fixing in England.

"Mr Vincent has committed serious criminal offences - yet no criminal charges have been brought. Why has the ECB failed to have the CPS prosecute Lou Vincent? How is the Vincent case different to the successful prosecutions of others?" Robertson said.

"David Richardson, the CEO of the ICC, stated as recently as 1 July 2014 that 'where suspicious activity is uncovered, no stone will be left unturned to bring those involved to justice'. On the same day David Collier, [former] CEO of the ECB, announced that the Lou Vincent investigation had 'been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that the ECB's action highlights our resolve to keep cricket clean'.

"It is said that Lou Vincent has estimated his earnings from cheating at around £150,000. He has admitted to match fixing for a period spanning six years. In 2011 international cricketers Butt, Amir and Asif were convicted of conspiring to fix matches as was Mervyn Westfield in 2012.

"All received prison sentences. Their financial 'rewards' for fixing were substantially less than the amounts received by Mr Vincent."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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