Andrew Fitch-Holland's "state of mind" is the crucial factor for the jury to considering his guilt or innocence, according to the Queen's Counsel representing him.

Even if Chris Cairns is found guilty of perjury, Jonathan Laidlaw QC said Fitch-Holland should be acquitted of perverting the course of justice because the Crown had failed to clear three "hurdles".

In order to find him guilty, the jury must be sure the 50-year-old knew Cairns and Lou Vincent were involved in match-fixing and that Fitch-Holland had asked Vincent in the recorded Skype call to give a false statement.

Mr Laidlaw said there was no evidence Fitch-Holland was aware either cricketer was involved in match-fixing and steadfastly believed in Cairns' innocence.


If Fitch-Holland did not know about any match-fixing, Mr Laidlaw asked the jury to consider his "state of mind" when listening to the Skype call with Vincent.

He pointed to an email Fitch-Holland wrote to Cairns in April 2013, long before either man were under suspicion by authorities.

Fitch-Holland had been a loyal - but unpaid - advisor to Cairns during the libel proceedings against Lalit Modi. On top of countless hours dealing with the media and the legal team, Fitch-Holland had borrowed money from his girlfriend to travel into London each day for the trial in 2012.

Cairns had promised to refund his friend but did not, despite receiving 90,000 pounds in damages.

Chris Cairns arrives at Southward Crown Court in London today. Photo / Chris Gorman
Chris Cairns arrives at Southward Crown Court in London today. Photo / Chris Gorman

So Fitch-Holland sent an email to Cairns in April 2013 to "shame" him into making a contribution to his costs, said Mr Laidlaw.

Despite the negative tone of the email, Fitch-Holland wrote "I was overjoyed in the end you were vindicated and we won that fight".

Those words "could not be any clearer", said Mr Laidlaw that Fitch-Holland "obviously and clearly believed wholeheartedly in Chris Cairns' innocence".

With that "state of mind", the QC asked the jury to consider the Skype call between Fitch-Holland and Vincent.


The Crown theory where Cairns and Fitch-Holland were "two complete crooks conspiring together to subvert" the libel case with a false statement was "nonsense", said Mr Laidlaw.

This was because it was Cairns' legal team putting pressure on Fitch-Holland to persuade Vincent to provide a statement - not Cairns himself.

Fitch-Holland was unaware that Vincent had asked Cairns for money for providing a statement and also did not know Vincent had already approached Modi to offer help.

Lou Vincent arrives at Southwark Crown Court. Photo / Chris Gorman
Lou Vincent arrives at Southwark Crown Court. Photo / Chris Gorman

He also did not know the Skype call was recorded and Mr Laidlaw said it was clear Vincent "steered" the conversation to order to trap Fitch-Holland.

With that in mind, Mr Laidlaw said the jury should carefully analysis the conversation. He suggested the transcript showed Fitch-Holland was "oblivious" to Vincent's hidden agenda.

Fitch-Holland believed Vincent was reluctant to be a witness in a case against Modi - the most powerful man in cricket at the time - as he was trying to get his career back on track and owed unpaid wages from the Indian Cricket League.

Vincent had just signed a new contract with English county Sussex and did not want to be associated with a trial involving match-fixing allegations - particularly if Vincent thought he could be exposed for the cheat he was, said Mr Laidlaw.

When Fitch-Holland said some of the allegations from Modi were "clearly true", Mr Laidlaw said he was referring to the corrupt local Indian players and not Cairns.

Where Vincent said it was a "big ask to say something wasn't true" in a legal document, Fitch-Holland agreed. But crucially, said Mr Laidlaw, nowhere in the transcript of the 22 minute conversation was a request to sign a false statement.

Vince was "tip toeing" around the topic of match-fixing and Fitch-Holland was completely unaware of what he was referring to, said the QC.

He suggested the passages the Crown relied on to convict Fitch-Holland were open to interpretation, while others contradicted the prosecution theory.

"The prosecution can't have a man convicted of such a serious offence on a misunderstanding or where people are talking at crossed purposes."