Thursday, November 25, 2010

Matthew McColl Cross-Examination

When court resumed this morning Lord Bracadale began by addressing the witness. He reminded Mr McColl that yesterday he had refused to answer a question put to him and that this action had put him at risk of being in contempt of court. Mr McColl responded by apologizing for his behavior yesterday, saying it was "uncharacteristic." and confirmed he was ready to answer the question. With that Paul McBride QC, for Gail Sheridan, moved to the lectern to continue his cross-examination.

Mr McBride began by asking the witness, as he did yesterday, if he had been at Andrew McFarlane's wedding with a partner, and if that person later became his wife. The witness confirmed that he had. Mr McBride then asked the witness about his relationship with Beverley Dixon. Mr McColl confirmed that he had known Ms Dixon for around 18 months before the alleged visit to the Moathouse hotel and that he had initially met her in a bar. The witness denied however being a "swinger" or being involved in the "swinging scene."

Mr McBride the put various statements made by Ms Dixon to the Police. and asked if the witness agreed. Mr McColl disagreed that he had picked Ms Dixon up from Glasgow airport in a "Limousine with blacked out windows" or that there had been "young people and a bottle of champagne in the back." The witness also denied any suggestion that he had sexual relations with Ms Dixon either at the Moathouse hotel or previously, saying that "he was not going to commit perjury in a perjury trial." Mr McBride asked why Beverley Dixon would lie about this, to which the witness responded "you would have to ask her" adding "I told Mr Prentice what time  I left the hotel" and claimed that having a drink then having sex with Ms Dixon on that timescale would involve "gymnastics" to which Mr McBride responded "we have heard enough about gymnastics in this trial" adding "it's not impossible."

Mr McBride then went on to discuss  three police statements made by Mr McColl where he had denied that Tommy Sheridan was at the Moathouse Hotel and also, a meeting recorded secretly by a News of the World journalist were he had  also stated Mr Sheridan was not there. The witness said this was an "omission" and he had been angry at the police for arriving at his house early in the morning and also had no desire to help the News of the World. Mr McBride put it to the witness that this was not an "omission" but that, in fact, he had clearly stated Tommy Sheridan was not at the Moathouse on four separate occasions. Mr McColl again stated his present testimony was true and that he would not "commit perjury , I'm aware this is a perjury trial" Mr Mcbride reponded "I'm more aware this a perjury trial that you, I've been standing here for umpteen weeks." and put it to the witness that he had lied to the jury a number of times today. Mr McColl denied this.

Mr McBride then asked the witness about his evidence yesterday that he had been drinking since lunchtime on the day in question. Mr McColl said he had "had a few" to which Mr McBride replied "In Glasgow a few could be a glass of Chardonnay after dinner of four bottles of Mad Dog 20 20, which was it" Mr McBride asked the witness if he was driving over the limit, to which Mr McColl replied he did not think he should admit that, Mr McBride replied that  while it was up to the Advocate Depute to prosecute him, as it was ten years ago he "might not bother" Mr McColl then admitted that he "might have failed a breathalyser."  Mr McBride then again asked the witness about his relationship with Beverley Dixon, and Mr McColl again denied it was a sexual relationship. The court then took a short break.

When court resumed Mr McBride asked the witness if he knew a Graham Stewart, which he denied. Mr McBride told the witness that Mr Stewart was the former husband of Beverley Dixon and asked again if Mr McColl had ever met him. The witness again said he had not. Mr Mcbride then asked the Mr McColl  if he had heard of the "Adam and Eve' Club. The witness said he had but  "hadn't been in it." Mr McBride asked again if  Mr McColl had been in the club, which the witness denied, an answer Mr McBride called a "lie." Mr McColl responded "can you prove it" but then added  he "may have been in the club." Mr McBride asked "why has it taken you so long to admit that? to which the witness responded that he "retracted" his previous answer that he had never visited the Adam and Eve Club as he had.

Mr McBride then put it to the witness that he had asked the him three times about the club, and that if he had accepted his answer and not asked again the jury would never have known "you lied." He then asked Mr McColl if the Adam and Eve club was a "swingers club" to which the witness responded that he believed it was a "lap dancing club" a description he insisted on under repeated questioning. 

Mr McBride then produced a police statement by Beverley Dixon's ex-husband, Graham Stewart, in which he identifies a picture of Mr McColl and states he knew him as "Mac" adding that he had met him in the Adam and Eve club where "Mac" had had sex with his wife. The statement goes on to say that "Mac" continued to call Ms Dixon until Mr Stewart himself had answered a call and told "Mac" to stop phoning . Mr McColl denied this had occurred.  Mr McColl then asked Mr McBride if the statement mentioned "drugs",  prompting Lord Bracadale to intervene and remind the witness to answer questions not ask them. Mr McBride asked why the witness had mentioned drugs, to which he replied it "just occured to me if there was any mention of Crack Cocaine" Mr McBride asked "has someone been feeding you information"? "has someone been showing you statements?  Mr McColl answered "no, no."

Mr McBride then asked Mr McColl why Mr Stewart would pick him out of a photograph if he did not know him, adding that Mr Stewart had not know when asked  who Tommy Sheridan was and had "never heard of the Scottish Socialist Party, or whatever it's called." Mr McColl replied that "perhaps he had a grievance against his wife" an answer Mr McBride called "extraordinary" adding "why pick you from a photo, why not me, why not someone from the public gallery" Mr McBride ended by stating that the witness had "lied to us and will tell us any old rubbish to make him look good." and then returned to his seat.

Tommy Sheridan then began to rise from the dock to begin his cross-examination, but before he could the Advocate Depute rose and told the court he had "some matters to consider" and requested an adjournment until 2pm. This was agreed and the court adjourned.


Anonymous said...

A "business consultant" - what's that called when it's at home?

Legally Challenged said...

This witness has again provided information that is contardictory to his own statements in court and previous statements to others.
He has stated in court today that his behavior yesterday was "uncharacteristic." is it characteristic of witnesses to deny telling lies and admit telling lies whilst in the witness box?

Not politically affilliated said...

Many thanks Mr Doleman for your excellent summary of this morning's proceedings.

anon123 said...

Some of his stuff might sound dodgy, but why are the defence suggesting he has changed his tune about TS being at the hotel since the police statements? Don't follow what line McBride is attempting to take, beyond making the witness look untrustworthy

Sceptic said...

Which seems to have worked!, see post above

Legally Challenged said...

Sceptic said...
Which seems to have worked!, see post above

Helo Sceptic
It would appear to me that these charges being dropped IMO had much more to do with the unreliability of the witness than any input by the defence, this whole tale IMO was total elaboration and did not hold water.

Whatsy said...

Well, having seen the majority of witnesses, I thought Mr McColl was by far the least helpful to the defence. It got to the point that I didn't believe anything he was saying, and I'm usually very credulous and want to believe every witness.

Why the Crown called him, assuming they knew what he was going to say, I just cannot understand. If he was the main witness for the Moat House Chapter, I can understand why all charges for this were dropped.

The truth is out there said...

Its all looking shaky for the crown, some charges deleted, this could all collapse very quick

Anonymous said...

james, i think an explanation to the less well educated of the followers of your log is required
because i am totaly lost and i apoligise for this

James Doleman said...

I'm happy to clarify anything specific anon, I'm sure any confusion is down to me not you.

Was there anything specific?

Tommy trial addict said...

This guy is the worst witness I have ever come across at a criminal trial.

This is stunning!