Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tommy Sheridan's Summation Part 3: The Deleted parts of the Indictment.

Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

When court reconvened, with the public gallery fuller than ever as the police had re-opened the two front rows,  Mr Sheridan rose in the dock to continue his summation speech to the jury. Mr Sheridan reminded the jury that he had been discussing the subornation charge laid against him in relation to Colin Fox (see report below) Mr Sheridan noted that Mr Fox had told the police in a statement that the meeting at which Mr Fox had alleged he had been asked to commit perjury was the 17th June 2006, a date which Mr Fox told the court he had recalled as it was his birthday and Mr Sheridan's wedding anniversary and that he had met the accused after he had "spent the night in an Edinburgh hotel.  Mr Sheridan then brought into evidence his diary for that year, which had been in the possession of the police since the raid on his home on the 16th December 2007. Mr Sheridan pointed to the entry in the diary  for the 16th June 2006 which stated " stay night in Lochside hotel in Cumnock"  and reminded the jury that during his defence he had produced a receipt for that day from the hotel. He asked that if the police had his diary, and it referred to such a serious charge "had the police checked it out" saying that at least "there would have been a phone call or an email" or even a "visit with coffee and muffins"

Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider why this was not done, was it because "inconvenient" and would "undermine the charges against me?" Mr Sheridan reminded the jury that when he had dropped the subornation charge he charged the jury "not to let it effect your view of Mr Fox." Mr Sheridan then said "I beg to differ" Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to recall the testimony of his sister Lynn Sheridan on the events of that day stating "that it shows him [Mr Fox] to be a liar. He then asked the jury to reflect on why the Crown in this case had not checked if he had been at the Lochside hotel on the night in question, stating to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, "This has been a fair and even handed case from the start, and the moon is made of cheese."

Mr Sheridan then turned his attention to the "Moat House chapter" of the case. He told the jury that they had never heard what the jury in the 2006 case had on that alleged incident, "which was a pity." Mr Sheridan then reminded the jury that the Advocate Depute had said in his summing up that they should "think carefully about certain witnesses" Mr Sheridan then invited the jury to "think carefully about Matthew McColl" Mr Sheridan asked the jury to reflect "how easy it is to bring allegations eight years after the event." Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that this was a "substantial part of the indictment" However after "Mathew McColl lied the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards in the wind. Mr Sheridan added that the Moat House chapter had collapsed as a result of a "ten minute cross examination" and that a "serious allegation" that had "hung over his head for three years "had vanished in a stroke."

Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to recall the Advocate Depute's statement yesterday that a "pattern was starting to develop" He asked the jury to consider that statement in the light of the number of charges that had been deleted from the indictment, suggesting that it might as well be written in "disappearing ink." He then asked the jury to retrieve their original copies of the indictment, which they did, and asked them to remember when they had first seen the document on the 4th October this year, "when we were all considerably younger" Mr Sheridan told the jury the indictment was the product of a "three year investigation costing 2 million pounds and 52,000 police hours" and contained two charges over eighteen paragraphs, adding there "were now six." Mr Sheridan reminded the jury that the Advocate Depute had said yesterday he had a "compelling and convincing case." Mr Sheridan stated to the jury "so compelling and convincing that of two charged one had been dropped and from eighteen paragraphs twelve had been dropped, adding that if the case against him was so "straightforward" why "three quarters of the case has disappeared." He then added "one wonders if i had strung my defence out till the end of january would there be anything left on the indictment?"

Mr Sheridan then moved on to the role played in the case by the News of the World and it's then journalist Anvar Khan. This will be the subject of our next report.

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