"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Dec 20, 2010

Tommy Sheridan Trial nears the end

The trial of Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail on charges of perjury is now reaching the final stages as Alex Prentice today summed up the prosecution case for the jury. Over the course of this lengthy trial the Prosecution has brought forward a range of witnesses who have testified to the matters set out on the indictment.

One of the features of the case has been that the prosecution have, with the agreement of the court, amended and reduced the indictment from the one that Sheridan and his wife first faced. In a dramatic twist in the case on Friday the prosecution dropped all the remaining charges against Gail Sheridan.

The prosecution was careful to insist that the charges had been dropped due to her "personal circumstances" and despite there being a "sufficiency of evidence" against her - a position that was not disputed by her counsel.

While the trial has been reported widely in the media in the UK the media has tended, as it often does, to focus merely on headline issues and often at a fairly shallow level. However those interested in the full details of the workings of a major trial such as this in a Scottish court have had the benefit of a blog which has published full details of each day of the trial in detail. The blogger concerned Mr James Doleman has done a wonderful job in presenting a balanced and detailed report of the proceedings.

Mr Dolemans blog has been followed avidly by a large group of commenters ( including myself) who have , within the limits of contempt of court, debated and teased apart the evidence as it has emerged. Many of the commenters have some involvement in socialist politics and supporters and detractors of Sheridan have been there in equal measure engaging in what for the most part has been fairly rugged but generally civilised debate.

While there have been many complexities in the case at its core is a simple allegation - that Tommy Sheridan had visited a Swingers club and had certain extra marital liaisons. That the newspaper the News of the World found out about this and published certain stories. That Sheridan confessed to a small group within his party at a very stormy meeting but said that was going to sue the paper for defamation as he was convinced that they could not prove the truth of the story. That this split his party with many of the leading members being adamant that the defamation action would bring nothing but destruction on Sheridan and his party.

Sheridan did sue the paper and leading his own case in court he came away with a victory that astounded many. He was awarded £200k by the jury but the judge in the case reported that he had major concerns about perjury having been committed. A lengthy police investigation ensued and Sheridan, and his wife were then charged with perjury. The perjury allegations essentially centre around the fact that Sheridan is alleged to have lied about these events during the defamation case.

Neither Sheridan or his wife took the stand in the perjury trial, something which was their right of course in law but which perhaps still leaves certain matters unanswered - such as why he had the partial address , name and telephone of the swingers club in his diary.

Sheridan's overall version of events will be heard tomorrow when he sums up the defence case for the jury. So far his defence has appeared to be based on a similar approach to the one he used in the defamation case which was to claim that the whole affair involves a conspiracy by a group within his party to oust him and a conspiracy by Rupert Murdoch and his media empire to destroy Sheridan because he is supposedly a leading socialist. Essentially Sheridan appears to argue that the News of the World was engaging in conspiratorial class warfare.

One fascinating aspect of the case has been the production of a "video confession" allegedly recorded by an associate of Sheridan. Unfortunately Sheridan can't be seen clearly on the tape and Sheridan has tried to claim variously that the tape is a "concoction" or that an actor or mimic was used to impersonate him.

The jury will, within the next few days, be able to deliver their own verdict on this whole affair. Should they find Sheridan Not Guilty then the implication will of course be that a large number of prosecution witnesses came into court and perjured themselves in a perjury trial. What will follow from that is anyone's guess at this stage. If he is found guilty then his own supporters and Sheridan himself are unlikely to let the matter rest there and it is hard to imagine that having let matters develop this far that Sheridan would not then appeal. There is a third option in Scottish law - Not Proven and some have speculated that this trial may be headed in that less than conclusive direction.

It seems certain though that one way or another we have not heard the last of Tommy Sheridan in Scotland's courts.

And of course neither is that the last of Tommy Sheridan on this blog, because I will, of course, post further after the both the prosecution and defence have completed their summing up and give my own take on events once the verdict is in.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bunc said...

@Anonymous
thanks for your comments about Tommy Sheridan.

Unfortunately I have had to remove your post as it contained a large number of direct allegations about Sheridan which werent part of this case and which were essentially allegations of criminal activity.

I cant allow these to be made on this blog I'm afraid at this time as I for one don't want to end up on the receiving end of a defamation action or be accused of contempt of court.

If you have evidence of such behaviour then you or others should report the matter to the police.

The best I can do is to republish your comment with deletions of those parts which I am no t happy seeing published here. I would ask you to bear this in mind if you comment again.

Bunc said...

This is the comment which was deleted - in a heavily redacted form. These are the commneters own views.

----------------------------------

Tommy Sheridan has been known throughout much of Glasgow as a ***, ******* fan, client of **********, and ****, ever since the 1980s when his little **** used commonly to ******** to **** anarchists and other leftists if they didn’t get things their own way. It surprised nobody that he eventually ended up friends with the notorious ******** **** ******, who not only put the ******* out on A***** T****** J***** but also had the guys who did it for him ********. Sheridan’s friendship with that other **** ex-pseudo leftist **** ****** is also not surprising. Some of the witnesses against Sheridan were ********* by other friends of F*****. What should happen is that Sheridan should be jailed and the key should be thrown away. If that happens, then a lot more will come out, when more people start telling the press what they know. The only surprise is that it has taken this long for Sheridan to be exposed. I hold no brief for the Murdoch press, but it will be a bad day for truth if he gets acquitted. Sheridan has also boasted of his friendship with ****** *******, and this too is no surprise given that he became widely known as “S**** ‘E* Sheridan” after he called for “naming names” after the London Poll Tax Riot in 1990. That he’s been able to get so many creeps to *** for him in court is quite disgusting… In about four different grapevines in Glasgow it’s common knowledge that he uses **********, uses *******, and threatens to carry out or arrange ******** against anyone who gets in his way. [next sentence deleted to avoid accusations of attempting to influence Jury]

Enid Blyton said...

Hi Bunc,

I've been trying to get this posted on the James Doleman site since yesterday evening, with no success. I can't think why? I have been very impressed with your incisive and balanced thoughts on this trial so perhaps you could post it on your site?



Today's new information was very interesting.

TS left the 9th November meeting early and records show that he phoned Gary Clark twice and Katrine Trolle once that evening.

However no one had mentioned TS by name at this point - the original Khan piece published on 31st October did not mention his name nor those of Clark and Trolle....why did TS call these specific 2 individuals immediately after the meeting on 9th November?

Here is a link to the full article. The site and article are awful, but it was the only copy of the full piece that I could find.

http://www.freewebs.com/tommygate/spankingmsp.htm

So, just to clarify, the folks in this article were called Patrick, Drew, Jerry and Hilda. TS was not, of course, named as having had an extra-marital affair with anyone until the alleged affair with Fiona McGuire was published in NOTW on 14th November....5 days after the infamous 9th Nov meeting! Why would he admit or deny being the MSP in the Khan piece if his name had not been associated with it and why did he then call Clark and Trolle....that evening, after the executive meeting? Why did it even come up at the 9th Nov meeting?

Thanks

Enid

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