Harry Redknapp Trial: Jury Told To 'Forget About Football' As They Retire For Verdict
Jurors at the Harry Redknapp tax evasion trial retired earlier to consider their verdicts, and have now been sent home for the day after deliberating for three-and-three-quarter hours.
The eight men and four women were warned to ignore footballing matters during their deliberations.The judge added in his summing-up: "This case is not about football but about allegations of tax fraud."
Judge Anthony Leonard told the jury to forget about the sport, an "emotive subject" as they retired to decide the fate of the Tottenham Hotspur manager Redknapp and co-defendant Milan Mandaric.
He said at Southwark Crown Court: "Football is an emotive subject, stirring in an individual anything from deep passion to resentment."
The judge told jurors he will only take a unanimous verdict.
Both Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, 73, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.
The Crown says deposits totalling £189,000 in a Monaco account were bonuses related to Portsmouth Football Club.
At least one of the payments was related to the £3 million profit the club made on the sale of England striker Peter Crouch to Aston Villa, Southwark Crown Court heard.
But Redknapp's barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, said yesterday that some of the Crown's evidence is "repugnant to all our basic instincts of fairness".
Mandaric's QC, Lord Macdonald, said the prosecution was "really flailing" with "paper-thin" explanations for the Monaco payments.
"We say the evidence against him is hopelessly weak," he said.
Redknapp has been vocal in defending his innocence throughout the trial. He says that tax evasion would be impossible for him as "he writes like a two year old and can't spell."
There was laughter in the court earlier in the trial, after Redknapp said that the Monaco bank account was set up in the name of his pet bulldog Rosie because he "loved her to bits."
Redknapp has reportedly been in tears in court, insisting that he has not told "a pack of lies."
The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account.
The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.