Friday, February 4, 2011

The Last Post

Photo Duncan Brown
As it is now coming up to ten days since the end of the trial of Her Majesties Advocate vs Thomas Sheridan we have decided to bring the Sheridan Trial blog to an end. We will leave it online as an archive but, unless something dramatic happens, we will not be producing any further updates. We will leave comments open over the weekend to allow people to make their final contributions and then shut that down on Monday.

As people will doubtless be aware the first accused, Tommy Sheridan was found guilty of five charges of perjury and sentenced to three years imprisonment. While this is not the result they wanted Mr Sheridan's legal team would argue that the fact that fourteen of the original nineteen charges were either dropped or not found proven by the jury, shows that they conducted an effective defence. Mr Sheridan's lawyer Aamer Aanwar has already announced that he will be lodging an appeal. A defence campaign has been launched for Mr Sheridan, they have a website Here Mr Sheridan also has a blog which has an account of his first week in prison

The second accused Gail Sheridan was acquitted on all charges. Despite speculation to the contrary Mrs Sheridan has announced that she will not be seeking a nomination as a candidate in the Scottish elections. There have reports that she may stand for Glasgow city council in the Craigton ward.

A number of witnesses in the case will however be standing in the Scottish elections this May.  Frances Curran, Colin Fox and Kevin McVey have already been announced as candidates for the Scottish Socialist Party.  It is also expected that a number of defence witnesses will be nominated by Solidarity Scotland, however no formal announcement has yet been made on this.

Andrew Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, has resigned his post as Director of Communications at 10 Downing Street. Some reports have cited his appearance as a witness at the Sheridan Trial as a factor in his decision to quit.  The story around "phone hacking" by people associated with the News of the World has continued to develop since the case ended. The Metropolitan Police have announced that they have begun a new investigation into the allegations.

On a personal note I'd like to thank everyone who helped make this blog possible. The people at court who made sure I got in to observe proceedings every day and the staff at Glasgow High court for their assistance and the two legal teams.  I'd also like to mention some of the journalists who helped me out and gave me advice on how to stay within the law while reporting, in no particular order I'd like to thank Severin Carrel Alison Campsie, Bernard Ponsonby, Raymond Buchanan, Yana Thandrayen, Catriona Renton, Audrey Gillan, Alan Taylor and  Mark Daly and many others. Also I'd like to recommended the web sites of my unofficial legal advisors, Love and Garbage and Lallands Peat Worrier 

I'd also like to congratulate  "Whatsy" for their work, without that the site would not have managed to cover as much as it did. 

Finally, after some thought I've decided not to accept donations for the site. I started this blog partly to see if it was possible to "blog a trial"and partly because  it might be useful for the Scottish Left to  have as an objective as possible account of events and testimony at the trial. Therefore it seems wrong to solicit money for this endevour. Some commentators have asked if we could nominate a charity, I'd suggest people could do worse than donate to Govan Law Centre 

Thanks again to everyone


Update Monday 7 February

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Andy Coulson Leaves Downing Street Job

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
The Guardian is reporting that Andrew Coulson, editor of the News of the World from 2003 until 2007 and a witness in the trial of Tommy and Gail Sheridan, has ended his employment as the Prime Ministers Director of Communications. They are also reporting that he will not receive any severance pay  as "is in line with the standard contract for special advisers"

The full story is Here