Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tommy Sheridan's Summation Part 1: Introduction.

NB as with yesterdays summation by the Advocate Depute we will, for reasons of space, be splitting our report into separate sections.

There was not a seat to be had in court number four at the High Court of Glasgow when Tommy Sheridan rose, just after 12 noon, to address the address the jury. Speaking from the dock, unlike the Advocate Depute who spoke from a lectern in front of the jury, Mr Sheridan began by apologising in advance to the jury about about "what will be a lengthy and time consuming summation speech." Mr Sheridan then told the jury "I hope you understand but my life is at stake" and added that he had a "wee girl and a loving wife at home" and that "if you decide to convict me I will be separated from them for a considerable time." Mr Sheridan stated that his aim was "to do that I can to convince you that there are far too many reasonable doubts on the six remaining charges" for the jury to convict him. 

Mr Sheridan then reminded the jury that the Advocate Depute had, in his summing up yesterday to "think about Barbara Scott" adding "I hope you did" Mr Sheridan said that yesterday the Advocate Depute had "posed a question," why had Barbara Scott handed in her notes to the police if she knew they were a fabrication. Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that they may like to ask themselves if this was motivated by "indignation" and a desire to clear her name why had she "invited the press and television along" However he also said there was a "more fundamental question relating to Ms Scott and this was "not why she handed in the notes when she did" but "why did she not take them out of her handbag in the first place."

Mr Sheridan asked the jury to recall that in Ms Scott's testimony to the court she had said she had her notes in her handbag during her evidence at the 2006 civil trial and that she had "told that to the police." He then recalled Ms Scott's cross-examination of Ms Scott  by Paul McBride QC where he had asked her about her statement to the police and then produced that statement which made no mention of notes being in her handbag. Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that Ms Scott had "accepted that she was wrong" and that the jury might conclude that "Barbara Scott had "lied" to them about that point and that it was his submission that she had.

Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that this was "not the only lie" told in evidence by Barbara Scott, and asked the jury to recall her evidence about a car journey where she had claimed that a discussion about minutes had taken place between her and Catriona Grant. Mr Sheridan recalled that there were six people in the car and that four of them had testified this discussion had not taken place, Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that this was "another lie from Barbara Scott." and also a lie "from Catriona Grant."

Mr Sheridan then quoted the first line in  Advocate Depute's summation "you could hear a pin drop," and pointed out that four Crown witnesses had used this exact phrase in relation to the 9th November Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) executive meeting. Mr Sheridan recalled that one of the witnesses who had said that was Alison Kane, who appeared to have the "remarkable skill of knowing when people are not at places" noting that it was usual to remember who was at an event, as you saw them, rather than who was not. Mr Sheridan reminded the jury that Alison Kane had told this court that she had known Katrine Trolle was not at the Perth Conference as "they counted the money together" and had also stated that "she had told the police that." Mr Sheridan invited the jury to recall Ms Kane's cross-examination when, according to statements produced in court, it was "shown" that "she told the police no such thing" and asked the jury to consider if this was "a lie from Alison Kane."

Mr Sheridan then told the jury that it was his submission that "this underlines the essential problem the Crown has. The problem is it seeks to rely on liars." Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that the prosecution witnesses "lacked credibility or reliability" Mr Sheridan them moved on to the subject of the police investigation of the case, which will be the subject of our next report.


Peter said...

Wish I could be ringside with you all.

If any posters are priviliged enough to be there this week soak it all up as you are unlikely to see a case like this ever again.

Sounds like a good start by Tommy - a few neat jabs at the Crown witnesses to loosen up his arms and get the crowd interested.

One thing we know for the start of this is Tommy is not going to take any prisoners.

I liked his opening remarks - the problem with the Crown case is that it is a case based on liars - is a great way in my opinion for the defence to get the jury to focus on what the defence see as the heart of the matter.

We will see.

This whole thing drawing to a close has brought to mind another quote from the great David Mamet script of The Untouchables:


"I'm gonna tell you something. Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with with him.

Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk.


Now, I have done nothing to harm these people but they are angered with me, so what do they do, doctor up some income tax, for which they have no case.

To speak to me like me, no, to harass a peaceful man. I pray to god if I ever had a grievance I'd have a little more self respect.

One more thing, you have an all out prize fight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing.

And that's how you know who won.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Peter. You can always be replied upon to type something in the comments box.

Peter said...

Heh Anon 6.37pm

Not fair I am not usually the first one in.

I pray to god Anon (puts hand on Dr Nicky's bible)if I had a grievance with you I'd have a little more self respect etc etc etc.

It does say "Leave your comment" on my computer anyway.

As the actress said to the bishop is that not what it's there for?

Cheers, Peter

jim mclean said...

Still think it will be the evidence of the non politicals that will count most. SSP say its black, the CWI say its white, the SWP its grey but we'll have to get back to the Central Committee to verify that. Of cours I am only reading reports, those who saw the witnesses may be able to make a better decision. Without naming individuals for either side do some seem more genuine than others to those who have attended.

yulefae said...

Well done Tommy,you,ve pulled it back,the forensics?where are they?
hope AP IS CRINGING,loved the shopping in primark,the invisible indictment all the best

Notasunworshipper said...

Amazing the power speakers have (even when you are reading what they say).
After reading APs summing up yesterday I thought that the defence was holed below the waterline.
Now after a brief intro and the defence addressing one witness I think maybe this not cut and dry after all.
Going to be a close one to call I think.

Neutral Observer said...


I assume, as a legal adviser yourself, that the opening remarks which you praise so highly do not include TS's remarks about the consequences of a guilty verdict for him, ie lengthy separation from his wife and child. Such a plea to the jury is totally inappropriate in a High Court trial. The jury should have no regard to the consequences of their verdict.

Sceptic said...

Some people seem to think that we should only have juries who are emotionless drones, perhaps Vulcan's from Star Trek?

That is not how it is, and I for one and bloody glad it's not.

yulefae said...

Neutral Observer said
Have to disagree,have watched QC,s ask jury,s to put their own flesh and blood in the dock and use the same test for the beyond reasonable test.

IMO there are so many descrepencies in this case or the charges left that IMO there is that test of guilt but that is for the jury

James Doleman said...

Knock knock, no offence but you have tried to make that point three or four times already, sorry but that was not led as evidence so cannot be discussed here until the case is over.

That may well be tomorrow so if we could all remain patient until then I'd grateful

Best Regards


knock knock said...

Ok James patience is a virtue

yulefae said...

December 21, 2010 8:00 PM

Sorry spelt the last comment wrong it meant to say the test for beyond reasonable doubt should be IMO well and trully applied in this case

Peter said...

Nothin wrong with Pontins Bunc we can't all spend our summers in Tuscany sipping on Prosecco, with pullovers knotted across our shoulders and wearing coulletes.

Just closing the one up the road in Southport - Scousers on Sea.

Neutral Observer I felt the strong point was not the family point but the prosecution built on liars point he made.

Still yulefae is right IMHO.

I only deal in civil matters of course but as I understand, as Yulefae says, the rules allow Sheridan to ask the jury consider the burden upon them of assessing carefully if there is a reasonable doubt before taking a father from his young child.

If he had raised his personal circumstances in separation from that legal consideration you may have had a point - but he did not so you do not. No?

There is also as I recall some fella in a wig and also a representative of the Crown.

I presume if Tommy was just going off on one or was outside the rules we would have heard about it.

To cap the matter he is the accused speaking in his own defence at this point so he has some leeway - not much but some.

The judge will correct the Crown the Defence if they have strayed when he sums up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Yulefae, bless you for telling us you spelt it wrong and that the test for beyond reasonable doubt should be well and trully applied.

John said...
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