A wealthy businessman was seeking revenge against Chris Cairns and his close friend following a humiliating and expensive defeat in a court case, a court has heard.

Andrew Fitch-Holland also gave the police an explanation of the Skype conversation secretly recorded by Lou Vincent, which he described as part of a vendetta by a corrupt cricketer to "throw Chris Cairns under the bus".

"And I'm collateral damage," said Fitch-Holland.

Fitch-Holland and Cairns are jointly charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to a recorded Skype conversation where Lou Vincent was asked to provide a sworn statement in support of Cairns' defamation case.


Cairns took libel proceedings against Lalit Modi, a wealthy cricket official, who posted a Twitter message in 2010 which said the former cricketer was involved in match-fixing.

The Crown alleges Fitch-Holland, a barrister by profession, and Cairns tried to pressure Vincent - who had declined to provide a statement - to provide a false statement.

Vincent recorded the Skype call and the conversation has since been played to the jury at the Southwark Crown Court where the pair are on trial.

A recorded interview between Fitch-Holland and Detective Constable Lucy Wade, the officer in charge of the Metropolitan Police investigation, was also played to the jury overnight.

The 50-year-old first met Cairns around 2007 when the former New Zealand international signed a contract with the Lashings Cricket Club in England.

They became close friends and Fitch-Holland helped Cairns on business ventures, more as an agent than a lawyer, including a charity boxing event in 2008 and a reality television show proposal.

He also explained how he advised Cairns about the libel case, which the cricketer won in 2012 and was awarded 1.4 million pounds in damages and legal costs.

Fitch-Holland told the detective he was paid "absolutely nothing" despite travelling to London every day of the libel trial, which he felt was "dishonourable".


When the rumours of match-fixing first surfaced on the internet, Fitch-Holland said he directly asked Chris Cairns if they were true.

"I said 'if there's a smoking gun out there, you need to be honest. If you've lied, you will be found out it will destroy you. It can turn around and bite you in the arse'."

Cairns denied any wrongdoing and Fitch-Holland said he believed him.

"If that turns out not to be true, I would be upset for all sorts of personal reasons," Fitch-Holland told Ms Wade.

He told the police he had "dim view" of Chris Cairns' behavior when he left his current wife Carin for Mel, whom he would later marry.

Fitch-Holland was "not a big fan" of Mel Cairns.

In regards to the defamation case, Fitch-Holland said Cairns asked him to contact Vincent - who was seen as "skittish" - in order to obtain a statement of support.

This was because Fitch-Holland might be seen as a more "gentle" way of gaining Vincent's co-operation, given his mental health problems, rather than an official letter from a solicitor.

Ms Wade asked Fitch-Holland about some extracts from the transcript of the Skype call.
At one point, he said to Vincent: "between you and I we all know some of what is being said is clearly true".

Later, Fitch-Holland said he wanted a statement from Vincent to say: "from where you were standing everything seemed okay fully stop".

Vincent responded: "It's a big ask from me to sort of like you say in a legal document to say something that isn't true".

In response to the "clearly true" line, Fitch-Holland explained that he was not referring to Chris Cairns, but to local Indian players in the Chandigarh Lions.

This was part of the evidence in the defamation case which Fitch-Holland was aware of.

"That is about the Indians, they were clearly bent. I was not talking about Chris Cairns at all. There's a massive distinction between that and saying Chris Cairns is involved."

So when Vincent said he would not "say something that isn't true" in a legal document, Fitch-Holland said he thought Vincent was referring to the Indian players again - not Chris Cairns.

"I haven't asked him to say something that was untrue. Did I take that to mean Chris Cairns was guilty? I didn't interpret it that way. Not at all. He couldn't say the game was clean because the Indians were bent."

And when Vincent said he hadn't been paid, Fitch-Holland said he thought Vincent was referring to money he was owed by the ICL, not match-fixing payments from Cairns.

Fitch-Holland told the police he was disturbed Vincent had covertly recorded the Skype conversation and steered the conversation in certain directions.

At the time of the call, Fitch-Holland said he did not know Vincent was corrupt.

"Lou is up to his neck in match-fixing and he's trying to throw Chris Cairns under the bus. And I'm collateral damage."

He also said Lalit Modi was humiliated by his defeat in the libel case and was now seeking revenge.

"Quite clearly he's dedicating his life to destroying Chris and me too."

- By Jared Savage in London