Thursday, November 4, 2010
After Ian Campbell the next witness for the Crown was Charles (Charlie) McCarthy. After taking the oath Mr McCarthy told the court of a conversation he claimed he had with Tommy Sheridan at the Rat and Parrot public house in Glasgow in early 2005. Mr McCarthy stated that Mr Sheridan had said to him "I've made mistakes, mistakes of a sexual nature" Mr McCarthy said he had not been interested in Mr Sheridan's private life and had told Mr Sheridan that he should apologise to Alison Kane for "asking her to lie for you" The witness told the court that Mr Sheridan had "acknowledged it was a mistake" and said he would apologise to her.
Mr Prentice QC then presented Mr McCarthy's police statement into evidence. In this statement the witness had said "the conversation moved on to the EC meeting and said he had made a mistake telling Alan McCombes and Keith Baldessera the truth" Mr Prentice then asked the witness if there had been any discussion of the disputed minutes of the "9/11" executive meeting. Mr McCarthy stated that he had suggested the party give the minuted to Mr Sheridan and added that Mr Sheridan had "jumped on that" and said he would produce a "basic minute" that contained only who had attended the meeting and what decisions had been made.
Finally the Advocate depute asked Mr McCarthy about the Anniesland by election in 2002 and asked him if he had seen the accused and Katrine Trolle together. Mr McCarthy said he had and described them as "flirting" with each other. With that Mr Prentice ended his questions and Tommy Sheridan left the dock to begin his cross-examination.
Mr Sheridan by asking Mr McCarthy about the 2002 Anniesland by-election and if the witness had seen Gail Sheridan there. Mr McCarthy confirmed he had. Mr Sheridan asked if it was anything unusual for him, as convener, to accompany a new member when canvassing, the witness said it was not and added Ms Trolle was a "bonny looking woman."
Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if he had been a member of the Militant and if that had been a "secret organisation" Mr McCarthy said he had always argued that the Militant should be more open and he had never been secret about it. Mr Sheridan then put it to the witness that since the SSP had sent a copy of the disputed minute to every member (in 2006) along with a 12,000 word article by Alan McCombes called the "Truth about Tommy Sheridan" he was "armed with knowledge" of how to testify and that he was lying for political reasons, This the witness denied. Mr Sheridan then introduced his own evidence to the 2006 libel trial, to which Mr Prentice objected but was over-ruled, where he had stated that the members of the SSP who had testified for the News of the World had, in his words "politically scabbed." He put it to Mr McCarthy that his anger over that statement was "contrived" Mr McCarthy said Mr Sheridan should "no have called them scabs."
Mr Sheridan than suggested to the witness that he was testifying to "support his friends in the SSP" and was "not here to tell the truth. Mr McCarthy said that if he was lying he would be "done for perjury" and could get "struck off" (Mr McCarthy is a senior staff nurse) The witness then compared Mr Sheridan to a "suicide bomber who wanted to take everyone down with him." Mr Sheridan retorted that "this trial has heard enough soundbites" and that they "didn't make your lies the truth." Mr McCarthy then said he "withdrew his comment" and with that Mr Sheridan returned to the dock. Mr Prentice, for the Crown, declined to re-examine and Mr McCarthy stepped down from the witness box.
Posted by James Doleman at 3:56 PM