Harry Redknapp yesterday turned angrily on a detective whom he accused of "staring" him down in court after describing his wife Sandra's terror at a police raid on their home, on the eighth day of his trial for tax evasion.
The Tottenham manager interrupted his evidence to turn on Detective Inspector David Manley of the City of London Police, who was sitting on the prosecution benches. Having finished answering questions from his own counsel, John Kelsey-Fry QC, Redknapp addressed the detective directly: "Mr Manley, will you stop trying to stare at me? I know you are trying to cause me a problem."
At times Redknapp made the jury laugh as when recalling his defence of a 21-year-old Peter Crouch in 2002 to his then chairman at Portsmouth, Milan Mandaric, who is co-defendant in the trial. "I said to Milan: 'He's a good investment, he is improving, he's getting stronger, he's getting taller.' We took him." But he also proved volatile under cross-examination from the prosecution counsel, John Black QC.
Redknapp was taking the stand for the first time after Mandaric, who also faces two counts of cheating the public revenue, had given evidence over a three-day period. Redknapp told the court that he believed he had a "moral" claim on the bonus for the sale of Crouch that is central to the prosecution case, but that he was not "greedy". "I have never been greedy in my life," he said.
Redknapp was asked by Kelsey-Fry about a raid on his home in Poole, Dorset, on 27 November 2007 on a matter unconnected with this trial. The 6am raid, part of the City of London's Operation Apprentice, took place when Redknapp was on a trip to Germany. He said that the police had been accompanied by photographers from The Sun and that his wife Sandra had been "absolutely terrified".
He told the court: "My wife was in a terrible state. She jammed the alarm on. She thought there were burglars and she was hysterical. Eventually she opened the gates and the police came in with photographers. My wife thought I had been killed in a plane crash."
Redknapp was also asked by Kelsey-Fry whether the prosecution's submission that he was a "hard-headed businessman" was correct. "I am a fantastic manager not a hard-headed businessman," he said. "I have no business sense whatsoever." Both men deny the charges. The case continues.Reuse content