'Staring' police officer faced News of the World leak allegations

 

The senior detective shouted at by Harry Redknapp for "staring" had faced accusations police were leaking the case to the News of the World, it can be revealed today.

The now defunct Sunday tabloid's conversations with both Redknapp and co-accused Milan Mandaric formed a central part of the prosecution.

But defence QC John Kelsey-Fry attempted to get the evidence thrown out, claiming the "press is effectively conducting a satellite investigation".

Both Detective Inspector Dave Manley and sports journalist Rob Beasley denied City of London police was the "source".

Mr Beasley instead said he paid several thousand pounds to someone close to Redknapp.

There was simmering tension between the Tottenham Hotspur manager and officers since a dawn raid on his Dorset home watched by press photographers.

Redknapp told how his wife Sandra thought he must have been killed in a plane crash after looking out of the window to see the flash bulbs of photographers.

The manager was further enraged by the volume of information Mr Beasley had obtained when they spoke to each other on the eve of the 2009 League Cup final between Spurs and Manchester United.

Mr Kelsey-Fry said during legal argument that Mr Beasley's intentions were "repugnant".

But during evidence heard in the absence of the jury, Judge Anthony Leonard dismissed the QC's submissions that the evidence was "evasive, contradictory and manifestly unreliable".

The judge also ruled out a later bid by Mr Kelsey-Fry to have the case thrown out altogether.

During questioning with Mr Manley, a senior officer on the case, the barrister said: "It is, I suggest, blindingly obvious that there was a leak from your organisation, from somewhere within your investigating authority."

Mr Manley replied: "I would like to find out what happened.

"I would like to know that information. It remains a mystery.

"People in football talk to the media on a daily basis."

Mr Kelsey-Fry added: "Mr Beasley told the court that he believed that both Mr Mandaric and Mr Redknapp were actually under investigation and subject to an ongoing investigation, and he was going to interview them on what he understood to be the same matter.

"There is a distance between what they said in interviews with police and what evidence is brought and what they mentioned subsequently.

"The evidence is simply overwhelming.

"Mr Beasley's evidence cannot properly be relied upon. It's evasive, contradictory and manifestly unreliable.

"I can't find any other situation where the press is effectively conducting a satellite investigation.

"The reality is that Mr Beasley is very much better informed about what was going on than they were.

"What he set out to do is not only unattractive, it is quite ... repugnant."

Redknapp had shouted at Mr Manley midway through the football manager's evidence.

Gesturing across the courtroom, Redknapp said: "Mr Manley, will you please stop staring at me. I know you are trying to cause me a problem, OK."

PA

Harry Redknapp found not guilty in tax evasion trial

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Milan Mandaric tried and acquitted in separate tax trail it is revealed

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Tax slurs ruined my career says former Portsmouth chief

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