This morning the court has continued to hear Bob Bird, the Scottish editor of the News of the World (NotW) being cross-examined by Tommy Sheridan. Mr Sheridan has continued to concentrate on the payment of witnesses in this case by the NotW producing at one point a heavily redacted document from the newspaper titled "Sheridan costs" which contains various entries of witness payments, including payments to Anne Colvin, George McNeilage and others.
Mr Bird was also asked about a payment made to George McNeilage to, in Mr Sheridan's words, "disappear." Mr Bird stated that Mr McNeilage was concerned about possible "retribution people might take on him" and he was given a thousand pounds by the newspaper to go on holiday.
Mr Sheridan has also called Mr Bird's story that he visited the Pollok housing estate alone and that he stripped to his underwear when viewing the "McNeilage tape" as "made up for dramatic effect." Mr Sheridan has also put it to Mr Bird that he was "embarrassed" at evidence revealed yesterday that the NotW had allegedly spent $2 million to "destroy TS."
However the main thrust of today's hearing has been the NotW story about Fiona McGuire, published on the 14 November 2004, alleging that she and Mr Sheridan had a four year affair. Mr Sheridan put it to Mr Bird that despite Ms McGuire's claim that she met Mr Sheridan "every couple of months" for four years, and that Mr Sheridan called her to arrange these meetings, that the newspaper had not a single phone record or text message as proof of their story. Mr Bird has continued to state that he believes that Ms McGuire's story is "substantially true" and the paper published it in "good faith. Mr Bird however has conceded that despite the newspaper quoting a "pal" of Ms McGuire five times in the story, no such person existed. Mr Bird insisted this was normal journalistic practice.
Mr Sheridan then put it to Mr Bird that he had not a "shred of evidence" for the Fiona McGuirestory and that the paper had run it in an attempt to ruin people's lives. He brought into evidence a transcript of an conversation between Ms McGuire and a NotW journalist where Ms McGuire appears to believe that Tommy Sheridan was married in 2002, not 2000, and put it to Mr Bird that it was not credible that a woman he supposedly had a four year affair with would not know when he had been married.
In an emotional section of this morning's testimony, Mr Sheridan asked Mr Bird if he knew that when the NotW story was run his wife was 8 weeks pregnant, and that he had printed "a pack of lies" and had no sense of responsibility for the health of my pregnant wife. Mr Bird responded that the fault lay with Mr Sheridan for having an affair and "you shouldn't have done it." and "it was not our fault you had been unfaithful."
Mr Sheridan has also brought into evidence the assertion that four days before her story was printed Ms McGuiretook a deliberate overdose of drugs in an attempt to take her own life. Mr Bird responded that that may have been a reaction to the pressure she was under from Mr Sheridan's "comrades" not to give evidence.
Court is now ajourned for lunch with Mr Bird due to continue to give evidence at 2pm.