The next witness for the Crown was Ian Johnstone. The Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC , began by confirming that Mr Johnstone, a warehouse worker from the Manchester area, is a member of the trade unions USDAW and also the CWU (Communications Workers Union) The witness also stated that he does not know the defendant Mr Thomas Sheridan, and that his telephone number began with the code 0161.
Mr Prentice then produced a diary which he told the court was the 2001 diary of Mr Sheridan. He then drew attention to an entry in the I/J section of the index, where there was a note of an "Ian Johnstone, CWU Organiser," and an address in Sutherland Street, Swinton, as well as a telephone number beginning 0161 telephone number. Mr Johnstone denied this was his address or telephone number.
Mr Prentice then presented a page from a telephone directory which showed a banner advert for “Cupid's Health Club” and an address of Sutherland St, Swinton, and a telephone number starting 0161. Mr Johnstone confirmed that this was not his telephone number. With that, Mr Prentice thanked the witness and returned to his seat.
Mr Sheridan then left the dock and moved to the lectern to begin his cross examination.
He began by confirming with the witness that he lived in Manchester, to which the Mr Johnstone responded that he actually lived in Salford - “a separate city”. Mr Sheridan then asked if the witness supported City or United, to which Mr Johnstone replied “Neither. Rugby League”. Mr Sheridan then confirmed with the witness that he was a member of the CWU, then asked if he knew the membership of the CWU, Mr Johnstone said he did not . Mr Sheridan suggested the union had a membership of over 300,000, but the witness stated he did not know the figure.
Mr Sheridan then commented that the witness “may be wondering what you are doing in the High Court in Glasgow. So am I!” and suggested they "try to work that out." Mr Sheridan then suggested that the reason for Mr Johnstone being a witness was to explain what his name was doing in Mr Sheridan's diary and then asked whether the witness had ever been involved in political campaigning? Mr Johnstone responded “Not really”.
Mr Sheridan then asked if the witness knew how many other “Ian Johnstones” are in the Manchester area, and whether the witness would be surprised if there were thousands. The witness replied that he didn't know.
Mr Sheridan commented that, as a former BT employee, Mr Johnstone might have looked up his name, then asked Mr Johnstone whether there were any other Ian Johnstones in the CWU. The witness replied that he didn't know.
Mr Sheridan having no further questions returned to the dock, and as the Advocate Depute declined to re-examine Mr Johnstone was informed by Lord Bracadale he was free to go.