Monday, November 1, 2010

Elizabeth Quinn

Before the first witness of the morning Alex Prentice QC for the Crown responded to a request by Lord Bracadale (presiding) made on Friday asking how long the prosecution thought it's case would last. Mr Prentice said his best estimate was another 3-4 weeks. 


The first witness was then called, Elizabeth Quinn a 71 year old retired teacher. Ms Quinn owned the flat next door to Anvar Khan and when asked by the Advocate Depute described meeting Tommy Sheridan in that flat when, she claimed, he was in the company of Anvar Khan. Ms Quinn gave the date as the 11th August 2003, a date she recalled as a painter was due to decorate her flat the next day, as an entry in her diary appeared to confirm.


Ms Quinn told the court that she had came home and believing herself to be alone in the flat had fetched a ladder to remove some pictures from her wall in preparation for the painters arrival.  The witness told the court that Mr Sheridan had came into the living room from the bedroom in the company of Anvar Khan (Ms Khan  was staying with her as she was only visiting Glasgow for a few days and had rented out her flat next door) .Ms Quinn decribed herself as "stunned" by Mr Sheridan being in her flat an called his behaviour "stupid." The Advocate Depute then sat down and Mr Sheridan left the dock to begin his cross examination.

Mr Sheridan first asked the witness how the police had "got her name." Ms Quinn told the court that she had called them as she was "disgusted" by the result of the 2006 libel case (a result she had heard while living in California) when she returned home to Glasgow. She said she thought she had "salient" information to pass on. Mr Sheridan asked Ms Quinn if she had contacted Anvar Khan before going to the police to which the witness responded that she had sent her an email asking for a phone number for the police. 


Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if she was close to Anvar Khan, to which the witness agreed they were good friends. Mr Sheridan asked if the witness was aware Ms Khan had undertaken Psychiatric counselling, to which Ms Quinn said she was aware Ms Khan had counselling but not that it was Psychiatric in nature. When asked if Ms Khan had told her about the alleged visit to Cupids Ms Quinn responded that she had and mentioned that "everyone was handed a bag of condoms" in the club. Mr Sheridan then produced a statement the witness had given to the police where she stated Ms Khan had told her "she had found the whole thing jind of boring and everyone drove back to Glasgow" Ms Quinn agreed she had said that.


Mr Sheridan then put to the witness more from her statement  to police, including a passage where she had said she was "astonished" by the outcome of the 2006 trial and that she felt that "Anvar [Khan] had had a very hard time in court" She agreed she had said that. Mr Sheridan then read more from the Police statement where Ms Quinn had described the verdict in 2006 as a "OJ moment" a reference to the trial of OJ Simpson. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that this was a "tasteless comment" to which the witness replied that she was living in California at the time and that Mr Sheridan's victory in the libel case had "felt a bit like that to me" Mr Sheridan said that unlike the OJ case "where an innocent woman was brutally murdered" there was no murder in his libel case. Ms Quinn said she had meant the phrase "in the sense the outcome of the trial was different to what was expected."


Mr Sheridan then returned to the witnesses earlier testimony and had her confirm that she remembered the date as the painter was due the next day. He asked her if she would be surprised to know that Anvar Khan had described the flat as "smelling of paint" in her testimony, and queried how that would be possible if the painter had not done the painting yet? He then concluded by putting it to the witness that she was here "to support her friend" and that Anvar Khan "had asked her to give evidence" this the witness described as an "insult" and she "had a mind of her own." Mr Sheridan then concluded his cross-examination and returned to the dock.


The Advocate depute then asked the witness if she had made any preparations for the painter arriving, to which the witness responded that she had bought the paint and "may have opened a can" Mr Prentice QC then out it to the witness that she had just been accused of perjury and asked how she felt about that. She said she was very unhappy and added that she would not normally have testified but felt "something should be done about it." With that Ms Quinn was allowed to leave the stand.

46 comments:

former ssp said...

same comment as yesterday, if Sheridan is lying then his line of questioning about Khan using councilling is disgusting behaviour from anyone, especially a socialist, it just plays to the prejudices people already have about mental health issues. if he is lying then i am very disappointed.

Brenda said...

what's this rubbish about a house "smelling of paint"... my house is always "smelling of paint", and that's because I like to go round the rooms giving them a fresh coat every couple of months. All my friends and families homes "smell of paint", Alex Prentice really is beyond ridiculous.

Stevo said...

Retired head teacher according to the BBC.

Anonymous said...

Ms Khan is certainly a strange one, telling the retired headmistress, who lives next door, that she's been to a swingers' club for sex.

Anonymous said...

"the retired headmistress, who lives next door*

I think you mean *telling her friend

jim mclean said...

Am I the only person in Scotland who doesnt keep a diary?

Anonymous said...

'Mr Sheridan asked if the witness was aware Ms Khan had undertaken Psychiatric counselling, to which Ms Quinn said she was aware Ms Khan had counselling but not that it was Psychiatric in nature.'


Isn't all counselling psychiatric in nature?

Anonymous said...

why was it alleged that TS and AK were in her flat, not Khan's. It is written that they owned flats next to each othere, not romms with a shared lounge?

Anonymous said...

Yes, brenda. Everyone's house always smells of paint. Correct.

James Doleman said...

Sorry should have been clearer on that AK was staying with her as she was only visiting Glasgow for a few days and had rented out her flat, I'll edit the post.

Anonymous said...

"Am I the only person in Scotland who doesnt keep a diary?" - and paper ones too!?

Stuffandnonsense said...

What I don't understand about Mrs Quinn's story is this: even if her story were true, why would she blame TS for being in her flat when according to her own version of events it was allegedly AK who invited him to be there in the first place? Surely if she were to be angry with anyone in such a situation then it ought to have been with AK who had allegedly invited a man back to someone else's apartment without the owner's knowledge. It just doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

Yes, brenda. Everyone's house always smells of paint. Correct.

Anonymous said...

same comment as yesterday, if Sheridan is lying then his line of questioning about Khan using councilling is disgusting behaviour from anyone, especially a socialist, it just plays to the prejudices people already have about mental health issues. if he is lying then i am very disappointed.

Considering what TS has at stake here, offending PC sensibilities is the last thing on his mind.

Anonymous said...

sheridan has constantly been accused of being mentally ill in this trial, delusional, pathological etc so it is the norm here, not something that is 'disgusting'. not unless you also think its disgusting when witnesses accuse tommy using mental health issues.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.02pm, considering Tommy's line of defence is that he's the best socialist in the world and everyone else is colluding with Murdoch to bring him down, you'd think defending socialist principles would be the FIRST thing on his mind.

Shug said...

Has he actually been accused of that in court by the prosecution though? It's not been used as a line of questioning except by TS; whether Khan sought counselling which was "psychiatric in nature" (and really Sheridan is getting himself mired here in the many different strands and levels of NHS mental health care) is really irrelevant to her testimony, speaking as someone who has seen an NHS psychologist and found it enormously beneficial, but not because it changed me from being some kind of mad inherent liar into a 'normal' person.

And no, all counselling is not 'psychiatric' in nature; see career counselling etc. That's not addressing a psychiatric issue.

Dr Shrink said...

Most people don't know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

Anonymous said...

Could anyone explain what this poster is trying to get at?

Ms Quinn was not in court to blame anyone for anything, but to answer questions.




Stuffandnonsense said...
What I don't understand about Mrs Quinn's story is this: even if her story were true, why would she blame TS for being in her flat when according to her own version of events it was allegedly AK who invited him to be there in the first place? Surely if she were to be angry with anyone in such a situation then it ought to have been with AK who had allegedly invited a man back to someone else's apartment without the owner's knowledge. It just doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a Clinical Psychologist that Anvar Khan has been refereed to; this is the first port of call. If she has been assessed as suffering from a diagnosable and (treatable) disease she will have been refereed to Psychiatric treatment.

Anonymous said...

A course of treatment with a Psychologist (counselling) could mean little more than "talking through" issues. Although the patient may be advised to take medication, this is what patients lie about most.

Miss Jean Brodie said...

Anon 6:01 It's Miss Quinn, she is 71 years old, and a retired headmistress. Have you ever seen the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. That should tell you all you need to know about her (liberal lol) attitudes to sex. Of course she is going to blame the man (TS) She probably wears tweed knickers for goodness sake.

freespeech said...

The OJ moment is what gets me. Here a woman who, while in America, decides that there has been a miscarriage of justice in Britain. Did she read all the evidence? Even if the verdict was wrong, was it a miscarriage of justice? Strange that she should think her opinion much more important than that of a jury. Do I scent prejudice?

Anonymous said...

This is former ssp again, my phone won't let me put in an alias

To the anonymous poster who said that stigmatising mental illness is ok if it's for a good cause- you either misread my point or misinterpreted it, IF sheridan is lying then he will have gone in to that cross examination knowing that he was lying and that to help cover it up he would insinuate that Khan was unreliable BECAUSE she had gone to councilling.

If that's not vile behaviour to you then I hope you don't ever know anyone who ever gets councilling themselves I would hardly call it PC, it's just decency

If defence witnesses use a simmilar line againt Tommy then I would say the same thing- only I haven't actually read anywhere that they have, unless you can give us some examples

To be fair, even if Sheridan was telling the whole truth then this is still extremely low and he should be ashamed

Anonymous said...

@ Miss Jean Brodie, Elizabeth Quinn's attitudes to sex or indeed the nature of her underwear are an irrelevance.
She was corroborating evidence given by Anvar Khan.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the ins and outs of TS's tactics, what this DOES tell us that are medical records are NOT private, confidential maybe, but NOT private - there is a difference, a big difference.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the counselling in Khan's book ?

Anonymous said...

You can't help but have sympathy for the counsellor.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42 but no-one is going to believe a word of what is written in Khan's book, I don't know because I haven't read it, but even it is was before mentioning it in evidence TS would have needed to seek independent corroborating evidence i.e. her medical records, otherwise Khan could easily say that she made it up.

Anonymous said...

anon 9.00 Ts doesnt need corroborating evidence, he isnt presenting a prosecution of Khan or her friend. If Khan has written about counselling he can ask about it. It might even have relevance to later evidence that he presents.

But, as was said, sheridan is a witness and he is being accused of being mentally ill by a few of the witnesses.

If its an issue, its an issue for the whole poroceedings and not just sheridans cross examination today.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who even thinks that someone who is genuinely mentally ill would be capable of representing themselves in a High Court Trial is in their-self nuts! And TS doesn't need to corroborate anything, he may have an alternative source for his assertions though, you know how slippery witnesses can be.

Anonymous said...

Mental illness tends to show when people are under stress - if TS had any genuine underlying psychological defects they would have presented themselves by now. He wouldn't be in court, he would be in a strait-jacket.

Shug said...

There are many forms of mental pathology. Nobody on here is qualified, but being mentally ill doesn't necessarily mean that after representing yourself in court or being questioned you'd be "in a strait jacket".

red chumpo said...

if we consider that isaac newton became the greatest scentist of all time whilst being mentally ill, i think we can conceive that a shouty man who has spent his entire adult life dealing with legal issues could probably manage to accuse some witnesses of lying despite being a nutter

Consultant Psychiatrist said...

Well, then, Shug, maybe it is not your particular field, but what about all those witnesses in court who keep questioning TS's mental health in what appears too be developing into a theme - are they "qualified"?

Anonymous said...

@ red chumpo shouty man! - who are you talking about? alan mc coombes? anvar khan?

Anonymous said...

12.31. Haha. Lol. Etc. Very good. Hilarious.

Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

For me Elizabeth Quinn's story falls apart on this "paint" story. According to her testimony she was waiting for painters to arrive to paint her flat. Let's think this through a bit Ladies & Gentlemen. According to EQ there was paint lying in her hall, so who put it there. The painters, or the fairies who live at the bottom of the garden? For how long has the paint been there? days, weeks, months, years. From my experience this is not how tradespeople work. No painter would leave paint on a householder's premises unnecessarily; it increases the likelihood of accidental spillage occurring for which the householder would hold them liable - a painter would not just turn up and leave paint on a premises unattended. Secondly, businesses work on a just-in-time basis, they hold minimal stock. The items required for the job would be purchased just short of when they were actually needed from a local merchant on a credit account - that's how it works.

There is also the issue of the house "smelling of paint", to say that a couple were cavorting about
in the presence of painters would sound just well daft. Instead, EQ testifies that she "may" have opened a can. Why would she do this? What did she expect to find - if she was worried about colour matching the colour is well, painted on the outside of the can. According to EQ this is the
painters property. Why would she break the seal, allow air ro mix with the paint? And if she did open the can, how long did she open it for, how long do you need to open a can of paint for to make your how stink of paint (the following day). Also has EQ got the strength to open a can of paint? Has she got any tools to do the job - remember she appears to rely on trades-men.

Whatsy said...

Re: 12:39 - I find your entire post deluded nonsense. You're thinking about this entirely too much.

Quinn bought the paint in advance of the painters arriving. She "may have" open a tin. Hmmm. And she was up a ladder when TS appeared in her living room.

That's it - believe it or not - that's all there is. It wasn't entirely consistent with Khan's testimony, but it wasn't far out.

I thought this was probably Tommy's worst day in court acting as his own counsel that I have seen. He pushed way way too hard with Quinn, and she didn't give an inch. He should have just got to the inconsistency of the smell of paint (which was apparent even during Prentice's examination of Quinn) then got out.

Bracadale had to stop him two or three times due to the lack of relevance of his line of questioning, and there was no need for it. During this cross-examination, I thought he came over really badly as a person, never mind as a defendant.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion there was something stinky about Quinn's evidence and it wasn't just a paint. I didn't find Quinn particularly pleasant, I think that most of us (TS) included have had enough of being treated like children in our formative years. And calling commenters deluded is below the belt, at least the commenter is THINKING about the evidence, you can never think TOO hard given what is at stake here.

Pete the Painter said...

Whatsy - why would a householder go to the trouble of buying paint for professional painters, us professional painters are very fussy about what we use; for instance we use different paints for different brushes, it depends on the surface, location of the rooms etc, . It also saves getting it delivered and we can purchase the same product cheaper. Totally ludicrous!

Painter & Decorator said...

We have catalogues for customer to browse in order to choose their d├ęcor, we also provide sample. With a paint job you also have to be able to calculate the amount of paint required for the job. In over 40 years in the trade I have never heard of such a thing.

Anonymous said...

Was there anything particular about this paint that EQ felt obliged to pop open a tin - or was it just plain old white emulsion - as used in 99.99% of jobs?

Anonymous said...

Some painters do ask you to get the paint for them and I often open the tin to look at the colour before actually using. Just because you don't doesn't mean that others are the same.

Christian Schmidt said...

Pete the painter,

Was it said that the painter was a professional? Depending on the job I have used real professional, who indeed worked with chart and tester, or odd-job men recommended by friends who said I need to get my own paint.

Christian Schmidt said...

But what I actually wonder more, leaving a pot open doesn't smell like a painted room, my recollection is that there is big difference (between a light smell that makes you go 'what's this? is it paint?' and an overpowering smell that leaves you in no doubt and in fact won't leave your nose for some time and your brain for even longer.

In other words, if Ak remembered paint after a painted room, that I can understand, after an open paint pot, it doesn't sound that plausible