Mel Cairns defends husband in perjury trial

Mr Cairns has pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge, stemming from his 2012 libel trial in which he won £90,000 ($210,000) damages.

Mel Cairns, the wife of former Black Caps allrounder Chris Cairns, has denied allegations she is lying to protect her husband in his perjury trial, reports say.

The trial in the Southwark Crown Court in London is now into its fifth week, having already heard from an array of high-profile witnesses.

Mr Cairns has pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge, stemming from his 2012 libel trial in which he won £90,000 ($210,000) damages when he sued Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi over a tweet that accused him of match-fixing.

Mr Cairns faces up to seven years' jail if the perjury charges stick.

His lawyer in the 2012 case, Andrew Fitch-Holland, is his co-defendant in the trial, accused of asking another former Black Cap, Lou Vincent, to provide a false witness statement.

The trial is being heard before Justice Nigel Sweeney, with the prosecution represented by Sasha Wass, QC, while Mr Cairns is being defended by Orlando Pownell, QC.

Current Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum, former captain Daniel Vettori, Mr Vincent, Mr Cairns and former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting have all given evidence so far.

But reports say Mr Cairns’ wife, Mel, was the latest to appear, doing so by video-link from Australia, where the couple now live with their two young children.

The court heard she would rather be in England but they were unable to afford the cost.

Mrs Cairns agreed with her husband’s earlier assertion an alleged conversation about match-fixing with Mr Vincent and his ex-wife Ellie Riley never happened.

Ms Wass, QC, however, asked her whether she was motivated to lie, having agreed she could not remember whether Ms Riley had ever talked about concerns with Mr Vincent to Mr Cairns.

Mrs Cairns reportedly responded she had no reason to, “especially in a court of law.”

The trial continues.

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