The next witness called by the Crown was John (Jock) Penman. The Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC, began by asking about the witnesses political affiliations, and Mr Penman confirmed he was a member of Solidarity (the party Mr Sheridan and others founded after he had left the Scottish Socialist Party) Mr Prentice them moved on to ask Mr Penman about the 9th November 2004 meeting of the SSP executive.
Mr Penman told the court that in his recollection Tommy Sheridan had "refuted" the allegations that he had visited a "Sex club" and had added that as the News of the World article contained references to drink and drug taking that "It couldn't be him as I don't drink or take drugs." The witness said that he had a clear recollection of the meeting and had no doubts about this. He also stated that Mr Sheridan had told the executive "you know the News of the World has had it in for me for years" Mr Penman told the court that Alan McCombes had told the meeting that Mr Sheridan had earlier admitted the allegations were true and had said to Tommy Sheridan "you know it was you" The witness told the court that Mr Sheridan had continued to deny the allegations calling them "rubbish."
Mr Prentice then asked the witness if he had always said Mr Sheridan had denied the allegations, which Mr Penman said he had. The Advocate depute then named a number of people who had claimed that Mr Penman had told them that Mr Sheridan had admitted the allegations and asked if the witness was calling them all "liars" Mr Penman said he did not like to call people liars as "he had been friends with them" but insisted that anyone who said that must be "mistaken"
Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that he received a phone call from a James Balfour in which he had supposedly said "Tommy has done it visited Cupids" Mr Penman again denied this but again said he would not state the person was a "liar" as perhaps he had phoned someone else, but he "didn't phone me." Mr Prentice then asked if Mr Penman knew a "Linda Taylor" and if he had told her at a coffee morning in 2004 that Mr Sheridan had admitted attending Cupids. Mr Penman told the court that Ms Taylor was "in and out of the SSP" and as she was not a member at that time he would not have discussed internal party matters with her, only generalities.
Mr Prentice then asked about a 2004 meeting in Dunfermline, chaired by Mr Penman and asked if he had told that meeting Tommy Sheridan had admitted the allegations. The witness responded that he had told that meeting that while Alan McCombes had spoken of an "avalanche of evidence" against Mr Sheridan, Mr Sheridan had denied the allegation. He added that he had said to the meeting that "we should leave it to the courts to sort it out" and this was "the only sensible thing to do."
Mr Prentice then thanked the witness for his evidence and returned to his seat.