Friday, October 22, 2010
Day 12 Friday Morning, Duncan Rowan.
This morning's session was a bit of a stop start affair, the reasons for which we will touch on later. The only witness that appeared was Duncan Rowan, former North East organiser for the SSP and one of the eight witnesses that Mr Sheridan has received permission to re-examine after parting company with his original advocate, Maggie Scott QC.
After asking the witness of there was anything he wished to change about his original testimony, to which Mr Rowan replied no, (an account of the witnesses original testimony can be found Here ) Mr Sheridan then moved on to Mr Rowan's relationship with a Fiona McGuire.
Mr Sheridan asked the witness if, when he attended the 9th November 2004 SSP executive meeting (at which the Crown allege the accused made admissions relating to the charges he is facing) and put it to Mr Rowan that he was in a agitated state of mind that day as he believed Ms McGuire had attempted to take her own life. Mr Rowan agreed. He then asked the witness if he had visited the Stanley bar after the meeting, which the witness stated he had, and asked who else from the SSP executive had also been in the bar. Mr Rowan told the court that he recalled Rosie Kane, Alan McCombes, Carolyn Leckie and indeed "most" of the people from the meeting had been there. Mr Sheridan put to the witness Rosie Kane's statement that he had said in the bar "Tommy Sheridan has stolen my girlfriend," a statement Mr Rowan said he did not recall making.
Mr Sheridan then went on to ask the witness if he attended the SSP people's Festival on the weekend of the 27th of September (the weekend, the Crown claims, of Mr Sheridan's trip to the Cupids club in Manchester) the witness said he did not attend. On further examination the witness said that as the film director Ken Loach was due to speak he "would have remembered" if he had been there. He was then asked if he thought a convener of a political party that had such an event would be likely to appear at it. Mr Rowan said he had "no idea."
The witness was then asked about a visit he paid to the Glasgow offices of the News of the World (notw) on the 19th November 2004, the day after the SSP executive meeting. He stated he had met a journalist there, Douglas Wight (again for an account of that meeting see the previous post) he was then asked if he knew that this meeting was being taped by the journalist, he said he did not and Mr Wight had lied to him. He was asked about a statement he made at the meeting "People have being lining up to do Sheridan in for years" which he confirmed he had said.
Mr Sheridan then asked about "factions" in the SSP, and Mr Rowan agreed there were a number of them. He was also asked about the 50-50 debate within the SSP (this relates to a proposal, later agreed by the party that at least 50% of SSP candidates in elections be women) The witness said he recalled Rosie Kane and Carolyn Leckie as being "leading members of the 50-50 faction." He was asked if he had told anyone else that there was a group "out to get Tommy Sheridan" Mr Rowan said he did not recall. Finally Mr Sheridan asked the witness if he had said anything to Rosie Kane about "Tommy taking my girlfriend" before the 9th November meeting. The witness answered "possibly, anything's possible, I don't remember." With which Mr Sheridan ended his questioning,
The Advocate depute then rose and asked Mr Rowan about the Stanley bar and if the discussion there was as "calm and measured" as that in court. Mr Rowan stated he did not remember as he was "only after more drink" and "had a lot on his mind." With that Mr Rowan was allowed to step down from the witness stand.
The Advocate depute then called a witness, Carolyn Leckie. Mr Sheridan objected to this as he had expected "Ms Kane" to be the next witness. There then followed a discussion about a "affidavit" which he had asked for, and needed to consult before questioning the witness, but had still not been presented to him. The court then adjourned while this was dealt with.
At 11.55am the court resumed and the judge, Lord Bracadale, informed the jury that a document Mr Sheridan required had not been received by the court and that an attempt to fax it had "not been successful". He then thanked the jury for their patience and informed them the case would resume at 2.30pm today.
Posted by James Doleman at 12:56 PM