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Over to the judge: WAGs wait for verdict on Wagatha Christie trial after Vardy storms out
19 May 2022, 17:10 | Updated: 19 May 2022, 17:29
Rebekah Vardy was accused of "lying under oath" as she stormed out of court as both sides made their closing statements in the Wagatha Christie case, and now await the judge's decision.
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It comes as the trial concluded its final day of hearings with Rebekah Vardy in court alone, while Coleen and Wayne Rooney did not attend.
The two women have been embroiled in a complicated legal battle since Mrs Rooney accused Jamie Vardy's wife of leaking "false stories" about her private life in October 2019.
Mrs Vardy denies the allegations and is suing Coleen, 36, for damages for libel over the "untrue and unjustified defamatory attack".
Mrs Vardy, who wore a black suit over a bright green top, arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on her own.
But Coleen and Wayne Rooney did not attend due to a "long-standing travel arrangement", their barrister told the High Court.
They were pictured this morning flying out of Manchester Airport with their four children. The family are believed to be going on holiday to Dubai.
David Sherborne - representing Coleen Rooney - said that the couple have asked him to pass on "individual apologies" and to explain "that they intend no disrespect to the court".
The lawyer, highlighting that the husband and wife had attended the trial throughout so far, added: "They had a long-standing travel arrangement with their four children which was booked in advance by their lawyers."
The judge, Mrs Justice Steyn, said: "I don't take offence".
The trial has seen a number of high-profile moments, including a reveal that a phone believed to have crucial evidence was lost in the North Sea, and Jamie and Rebekah Vardy storming out of court after Wayne Rooney took to the stand.
Both lawyers presented their closing arguments to the court today as the trial drew to a close.
In his closing arguments first, David Sherborne, for Coleen Rooney, accused Vardy of "lying under oath".
Mrs Vardy stormed out of the court just thirty minutes into today's hearing as a consequence of the claims, returning around 40 minutes later.
"Mrs Vardy deleted the WhatsApp chats and has lied on oath. There is only one reason for her having taken such a step. It was done to cover up incriminating evidence," he said.
"Mrs Vardy deliberately deleted those messages to cover up the collusion between her and Ms Watt."
He also pointed to the lack of "credibility" to those who have given evidence on behalf of Vardy, and said there was a 'clear effort' to conceal evidence.
In his closing remarks, Hugh Tomlinson QC - representing Vardy - addressed the High Court saying Rooney's case was a series of "conspiracy theories".
"She does not know where this information came from," Mr Tomlinson said. "I have to concede that the obvious suspect [in relation to stories allegedly leaked to The Sun about Mrs Rooney] is Caroline Watt".
Caroline Watt, Rebekah Vardy's PR agent, has been central to the case and is accused of leaking the stories about Coleen Rooney to the press.
Vardy "has obviously made mistakes", he said.
"She trusted someone she should not have trusted," Tomlinson said.
He added: "All she wants is to be vindicated."
"This is a case about Mrs Vardy and the way she had been treated by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, on social media to substantial abuse which is going on to this day."
He presented the court with 1,200 pages of messages between Vardy and Watts, where he said "less than one per cent of the time" in two years of WhatsApp messages mentioned Mrs Rooney.
"We don't have two women who were obsessed with Mrs Rooney," he said.
Tomlinson said Rebekah Vardy and PR agent Caroline Watts were 'just gossiping' when they spoke about 'leaks' in message exchanges, Vardy's lawyer tells High Court.
Tomlinson said conversations between Rebekah and Ms Watt spoke about 'leaks' in message exchanges but had been using 'loose language'.
He said: "The position is clearly that from time to time, Mrs Vardy and Miss Watt used the language of leaking. We say that in some cases that's actually just loose language.
"In reality, they're gossiping. That's a very different scenario than what's been said against them."
Tomlinson also reiterated that Vardy wasn't involved in the disappearance of a phone in the North Sea that contained potential evidence.
"It is not suggested that Mrs Vardy pushed the phone into the North Sea," Tomlinson said.
"We don't know the truth of Ms Watt's position. We don't know if this was an accidental loss of a device or something done cynically and deliberately to avoid inspection."
He added: "From Mrs Vardy's point of view, she does not know either."
In his final remarks, Tomlinson highlighted the 'serious suffering' caused by the trial where there is "really no evidence" to prove Vardy's guilt.
"A substantial award of damages should be made in this case. The libel was very serious and was published to a huge number of people," he said.
"Mrs Vardy has suffered very serious (and continuing) abuse as a result. The defence has been conducted in an aggressive manner, including at the trial, greatly aggravating the damage caused."
Thanking both sides, Mrs Justice Steyn informed the court that she is now retiring to consider her judgement.
Mrs Steyn will reserve her ruling on the case to a later date.