Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Moathouse" Charges Dropped

At 2.15 today Alex Prentice QC announced to the court that all charges relating to Tommy and Gail Sheridan and  alleged events at the Moathouse hotel in 2002 have been deleted from indictment.


Full report to follow.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Doleman said...

Hello Anon, sorry had to delete that as I'd rather not be discussing the judge and alleged actions by him.

If you could rephrase your comment?

Steve said...

Wow!

paw said...

James, thanks for that brief note to the blog.
This is priceless farce.
Matthew McColl was clearly a very reluctant witness who hated to do anything to assist the NoTW.

Whether deliberately or not, he has done Tommy Sheridan a big favour and has weakened the case against Gail considerably.

Victor English said," This is the most unruly and unhelpful set of prosecution witnesses I have ever come across, they seem to be acting as if they are the accused."

Perhaps this is because they are very reluctant witnesses. In the case of this last witness, he lied , on his own admission, to police who questioned him in his home at 6:30 am. He was reluctant to name the woman who accompanied him to the wedding. He came over, to me as very believable, in James' account, because he was clearly wanting to be anywhere but in that court.

In forcing this witness into court, this witness the prosecution has delivered a gift to the Sheridan family. They clearly do not understand the divided loyalties of the key witnesses in this case.

Looking forward to your next post.

Legally Challenged said...

Does this also mean that all other witnesses in regard to this charge will not now be called?

Danny G said...

Has Andrew McFarlane been called as a witness yet? If not, why not? Surely if as claimed by TS, all these various people are lying,then why bring his brother in law into the various scenarios?

Not politically affilliated said...

McBride clearly did his homework. I'm actually surprised after yesterday, Prentice letting this guy back on the stand. Surely, he could see what was coming. Poor preparation by Prentice. A clearly reluctant witness with a colourful personal life, busted on the witness stand.

That said, from the Crown's case so far, methinks TS still in heap of trouble.

Roddy said...

Given that all the costs are being met from the public purse, could there come a time when proceeding with this farce is considered no longer in the public interest?

Supe info compared with conventional media, BTW.

Anonymous said...

4.12. Proceeding with this trial is in the public interest.

Anonymous said...

Given all the costs i hope there does not come a time when this farce is considered no longer in the public interest. No-one has the right to disregard the justice system in Scotland - politician or not. If TS is proved to be guily then he deserves to pay the consequences.

Anonymous said...

If Alex Prentice thinks that he can nail down TS & GS on just one count on each charge that is what he will go for tossing aside the flotsam and jetsam in the process in my opinion. The least distractions and more focused the points and compelling the remaining points on the indictment the stronger the Crown's hand. In my opinion AP has no real intention of proving every point on the Indictment - there is no need to.

Anonymous said...

Agree, Anon 4:20, no-one should be above the law... well, expect for politicians maybe, after all they work tirelessly for their constituents so they deserve to be cut a bit of slack.

Lynn said...

Hate to repeat myself but it was not the NOTW, the SSP or anyone trying to break the special 'relationship' who brought this trial. It was the Judge who presided over the civil trial and he wouldn't have done so without good reason, equally the subsequent investigation produced enough evidence that the Crown had a case otherwise it wouldn't have been allowed to proceed. Agree McColl shouldn't have appeared again today, the AP made a mistake with that one but the trial shouldn't be stopped just because TS and his brother in law keep (very) dodgy company.

Sceptic said...

"McColl shouldn't have appeared again today"

So the defence should not have got to cross-examine him?

Not sure what system of justice you are thinking of here, but normally the accused is allowed to challenge the witnesses against him.

the_voice_of_reason said...

Couple of points here:

Having elected to call a witness, and the witness having been placed on oath and questioned the Crown cannot simply release the witness from their citation half-way through. The witness must conclude their evidence, at which point the prosecutor may, having regard to quality, elect to withdraw that part of the libel as happened here.

Re the Crown deserting the indictment altogether; that simply will not happen. In contrast to Matthew McColl, who admitted to being a liar on oath, numerous witnesses have maintained their position in cross-examination, and the Crown have a clear sufficiency of evidence to proceed on several parts of the indictment. Whether that evidence is credible or thruthful is a matter for the jury, but it remains sufficient in law to go to the jury.

Lynn: The judge in the civil trial did not "bring" this trial. He reported to Crown Office that there was unquestionably perjury committed in the defamation case, as several people present at the same events gave wholly conflicting accounts that could not be down to error or mis-recollection. It was then up to the Procurator Fiscal to invetigate and report to Crown Office. Lord Turnbull did not, and could not, recommend who should be investigated.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
4.12. Proceeding with this trial is in the public interest.

November 25, 2010 4:15 PM

Hello as member of the public for my part I would have been better served if he monies used in this escapade were directed into more socially productive enterprises.

firestarter said...

love your work james and all the comments make for some interesting reading.in my humble opinion the state of play just now is 1-0 to the sheridans on away goals. i'm eagerly awaiting the home tie!!!

The truth is out there said...

Andy Mc Farlane cannot give any evidence now about the moat house, thats dead and buried as a charge, there is somthing not right here a prosecutor of his experience scoring such an own goal, This is the first of many delete charges from the indictment in my opinion, from what I have watched not many came across as credible

Anonymous said...

"there is something not right here a prosecutor of his experience scoring such an own goal" - it's almost as if AP is under some sort of "pressure" to make a cock up of this case - or that is what we are supposed to think. In my opinion there is definitely something fishy going on, just can't put my finger on it.

Anonymous said...

I remember when the liberal activist Peter Hain was charged and tried with bank robbery in London. He was aquited as it was proven to be a frame up by the South African state security BOSS. They even employed actors to play the parts in the fit up. Peter Hain went on to a high office in the Labour Goverment. Fit ups and stich ups have happened before and it is only the people with lots of money who can do it. Tommy and Gail dont have a lot of money but the news of the world has !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Is there any specific reason why the Crown lead the "Moathouse" evidence with McColl or was his place in turn just a random decision.

No really! said...

They must have thought he was their strongest witness,

Anonymous said...

Talking of "actors", Anon, in my opinion if that tape is not genuine it has to be an actor playing the part of TS - a good one too... but if you have all the money in the world...

pinktov said...

voice of reason said: "The judge in the civil trial did not "bring" this trial. He reported to Crown Office that there was unquestionably perjury committed in the defamation case, as several people present at the same events gave wholly conflicting accounts that could not be down to error or mis-recollection."

No, the judges only report was on the behaviour of sheridans representative over questioning of a witness, he accused her of a previous crime that she denied. The Judge made comments near the end of the trial about perjury, but that is far from unusual.

If the investigation was based on the judges comments then all of those who had given evidence would have been under investigation. But we know from testimony in this trial that this wasnt the case. Sheridan asked a few witnesses from 2006 if they had been cautioned for perjury when questioned by police and they hadnt.

The investigation was clearly into Sheridan and those who gave evidence for him. This makes sense as the police started investigating it within days of receiving new evidence just after the trial and the PF ordered the full investigation in the days following the mcneilage tape being published.

A lot of people speculated that the judges comments had kicked off the investigation, no-one would have known for sure at the time, but this trial confirms that this wasnt the case.

In fact, when police announced they had started looking at perjury they claimed that it was following two complaints from members of the public, one of those was the notes from Barbara Scott, dont know who the other one was.

Tommy trial addict said...

While this witness is pertinent to a specific indictment, his evidence and the subsequent withdrawal of sections of the indictment will inevitably weaken the prosecution's overall case.