Brendon McCullum disconcerted to find he was crucial to Chris Cairns conviction

NA PHILLIP BROWN/PHOTOSPORT NZ GETTY IMAGES NZPA/ROSS SETFORD

Cover shot of Brendon MCullum - Declared.

Chris Cairns arrives at Southwark court in England, during his match-fixing trial. The trial is a big part of McCullum's book.

Lou Vincent exits Southwark Crown Court with his wife Susie after giving evidence in the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns.

Chris Cairns, left, is congratulated by team mates Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori during happier times.

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Brendon McCullum says he was disconcerted to find he was the prosecution's ace in the Chris Cairns perjury trial, with his word key to securing a conviction against his former friend and teammate.

Former Black Caps captain McCullum had been led to believe he was a minor part in the case against Cairns.

"In fact, as the trial developed, I'd been disconcerted to realise that I was the prime witness," he says in his biography Declared, released on Thursday. 

Brendon McCullum heads to testify in the Chris Cairns perjury trial at the Southwark Crown Court in London last year.
GETTY IMAGES

Brendon McCullum heads to testify in the Chris Cairns perjury trial at the Southwark Crown Court in London last year.

"Before the trial the police and prosecution had often expressed to me their complete confidence that they had evidence that was going to nail Cairns.

READ MORE:
Chris Cairns found not guilty
Why Cairns was found not guilty
Cairns overcomes pain, walks free
Brendon McCullum statements: Cairns trial

"I got the impression they had some sort of smoking gun, and that while my evidence was still important, it was a comparatively minor part of the prosecution case.

Brendon McCullum signals his 50 and is congratulated by Chris Cairns, at the Basin Reserve.
ANTHONY PHELPS

Brendon McCullum signals his 50 and is congratulated by Chris Cairns, at the Basin Reserve.

"If I'd known that I was basically all they had, it might have been another reason to think twice about doing it."

His role in last year's legal drama in London - which culminated in Cairns being found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice - is a focal point of Brendon McCullum - Declared.

The 35-year-old was a central figure in two month-long judicial process at Southwark Crown Court, a drama that left Cairns relieved, and McCullum drained. Disillusioned.

Justice Nigel Sweeney - McCullum felt he cast aspersions on his evidence.

Justice Nigel Sweeney - McCullum felt he cast aspersions on his evidence.

McCullum admits had he realised his evidence was the foundation of the prosecution case, he would have carefully reconsidered.

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McCullum testified Cairns twice asked him to get involved in spot-fixing in 2008 - approaches he did not report to the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit for three years, a delay he justified in court by saying "it's not easy ratting on someone I regarded as a mate".

That delay attracted criticism, with McCullum claiming Justice Nigel Sweeney cast aspersions on his evidence when summing up, instructing the jury they had to believe two of the three key prosecution witnesses in order to convict Cairns.

"The more I read about what he's telling the jurors, the more my heart sinks," wrote McCullum.

Chris Cairns was found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.
GETTY IMAGES

Chris Cairns was found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

"Sweeney tells the jury, among other things, that they have to believe two out of the three main witnesses against Cairns in order to find him guilty. Sweeney then goes on to completely and utterly discredit two of those witnesses, Lou Vincent and his ex-wife, Elly.

"Paraphrasing Sweeney, Elly was presumably so drunk she didn't know what she was saying, and Lou's evidence, though he has been banned from cricket for life for match fixing, can be written off in respect of anything he's said about Cairns as the rambling lies of a troubled soul.

"From the moment Sweeney rubbishes Lou and Elly's evidence, the die is cast."

McCullum was surprised the jury had to believe two of the witnesses.

"Sweeney, to my uneducated ears, appears to be telling the jury that if they believe me and disbelieve Cairns, they still cannot convict him, if they also disbelieve Lou and Elly.

"I simply don't understand why the jury cannot disregard Lou and Elly's evidence if they don't believe it, and still reach a verdict based on whether they believe me or Cairns.

"I'm not saying that would happen — in my opinion, Sweeney casts aspersions on my evidence too — but if I'd known at the outset what the equation was going to be, two out of three, it would have been a fairly compelling reason not to bother going to London, not to put myself and my family through this crap."

Brendon McCullum — Declared. Written in collaboration with Greg McGee. Published by Mower Books, an imprint of Upstart Press Ltd. RRP $49.99. On sale from today.

 - Stuff

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