Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Morning Update

The sole witness this morning has been Douglas Wight, a journalist from the News of the World who was News Editor of the Scottish edition until 2006, and a key figure in the newspaper's coverage of the Fiona McGuire and Moat House hotel stories. Mr Wight has testified on his relationship with Fiona McGuire, including denying a suggestion from the defence that she attempted to "do a bunk" to New Zealand before the 2006 libel case. He has also told the court about his involvement in an apparent attempt by Ms McGuire to take an overdose of medicine in a Glasgow hotel

Mr Wight has also been asked about his relationship with Steve Whitamore, a private investigator who was later convicted of illegally breaching police databases on behalf of newspapers, including the News of the World. Mr Wight has admitted using the services of Mr Whitamore but denied that this was for anything illegal or that he was, according to the defence, third on a "league table" of journalists using his services.

The court has now risen for lunch with Mr Wight due to continue to give evidence this afternoon.

Full report to follow.


Anonymous said...

According to the BBC "Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC said he had no questions to put to Mr Wight when he took to the witness box at the High Court in Glasgow and Mr Sheridan, who is representing himself, moved straight into cross-examination." - so why call this witness in the first place? Or have we moved on to the defence case? In which case why did Alex Prentice get first dibs?

Anonymous said...

Was TS going to call this witness for the defence? Did AP call him first to wrong-foot TS? Anyone explain?

Anonymous said...

Still cant understand why the crown dropped charges in relation to the moathouse solely on the testimony of one witness when there were many others still to give evidence. Either TS was there or he wasn't and either GS lied or she didn't. This witness was a personal friend of Andrew McFarlane TS brother in law and even attended his wedding. The witness attempted to lie in court by not admitting to have been at a sex club called 'adam and eve'. While his evidence from then on could perhaps be argued as unreliable, what has that got to do with the other witnesses waiting to give evidence?

Whatsy said...

Prentice called the witness as a courtesy to the defence. I don't know why.

Steve said...

Did anyone comment on how the McQuire line of questioning relates to any of the charges?

Anonymous said...

'As a courtesy' ? .... give's a break.
There is some other reason why the charges were dropped, and the truth is, no one but the prosecution really knows the details.
The prosecution in the person of Advocate Depute is neither naive or doing favors for anyone out of 'courtesy'.


the_voice_of_reason said...


There may be nothing at all sinister here. It is, while not common, not unknown in long-running trials that have taken longer than expected, for a witness's holiday plans to be derailed. In that case, it may be that the Crown allow a defence witness to be interposed.

In this case, as the unrepresented accused is not an officer of the court, the procedure used seems to accord with procedural fairness. For the avoidance of doubt, since Dickson v HMA in 1975, it has been established that in jury trials any party may call any witness who appears on a list lodged with the court, regardless of whether it's "their" list or not. No witness can be excused unless all parties agree.

Anonymous said...

Re.No witness can be excused unless all parties agree.

Would that include the Crown witnesses who have been deemed not required?

the_voice_of_reason said...

Yes. Unless both Paul McBride and Tommy Sheridan agree, they are potentially required until all parties have formally closed their cases, and the trial proceeds to jury speeches

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that clarification.

Anon 8.42