Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pamela Stella Tucker Testimony

The Advocate Depute, Alex Prentice QC opened his evidence in chief by asking Ms Tucker whether she was familiar with Cupid's Health Club, the swingers' club that it is alleged Mr Sheridan  has lied about not having visited,.The witness agreed she was familiar with Cupid's and that she had spoken to the police regarding having visited it. Mr Prentice enquired when she had visited the club, the witness replying “when it was cold”, then the Advocate Depute prompted the witness for a year, to which she replied that it had “been so long ago”. Mr Prentice then asked the witness if she knew a George Wallace, to which she replied that she did, but that he was known as “Robbie” and was 5'6” with blond hair and blue eyes. The witness confirmed that she had visited Cupid's with him, and that she used her middle name “Stella” when there. The witness then stated that she and Robbie had had an argument and he had left, leaving her to enter Cupid's alone.
The Advocate Depute asked the witness to slow down her testimony and drew the witness's attention to a particular visit to Cupid's when she may have met the accused, Thomas Sheridan, whom she then successfully identified in court. The witness stated she had invited Mr Sheridan home for a cup of tea, having seen him outside Cupid's picking someone up in a car, and that he was outside the club waiting on friends. The witness then described Mr Sheridan's friends as numbering three – two girls – one slim with reddish hair, the other a “big girl”, whose name she couldn't remember, but that this girl had went with her friend Ian. Ms Tucker stated she was not able to describe the man in Mr Sheridan's party. The witness then recalled that the second girl's name was Anvar.

The Advocate Depute then asked if the witness knew who Mr Sheridan was at the time of this encounter, to which she replied she did, because of what he did with the Poll Tax.
Mr Prentice then drew the witness to describe in more detail what had happened on the evening of the visit to Cupid's when Mr Sheridan was allegedly present. Ms Tucker described how she was with her friend Ian Leiper, with whom she stayed in Manchester, and had invited Mr Sheridan back to Ian's house for a cup of tea. The party had travelled to Ian's house in two cars, with Mr Sheridan driving one and Ms Tucker the other. The witness described how the two girls in Mr Sheridan's group “were not quite on their feet, shall I say”. Ms Tucker was asked if she knew Tony and Louise Cumberbirch, which she agreed she did, and that they had also come to Ian's house that night, but only after Mr Sheridan's party had left.

Mr Prentice asked the witness if she had been drinking that night, to which the witness replied “No. Nothing.”
Mr Prentice then asked about whether any food was consumed, and the witness volunteered that she and Mr Sheridan had gone out to get pizza, and that this had not taken long - “as long as a pizza's ready”, before they returned to the house.
Mr Prentice returned to the question of when this visit to Cupid's took place, to which the witness responded it may have been 2004, but definitely not 2005. Mr Prentice asked the witness if she could remember the police speaking to her, and whether she could remember if a  DS Barclay and one other named policeman were the ones she had spoken to and whether she remembered giving a year to them. Ms Tucker replied that the police had come to her door and she remembered both of those policemen by name as having spoken to her, and that the year of the Cupid's visit was “2003 or 2004 – one of those two”.

Mr Prentice then produced Ms Tucker's police statement and drew her attention to a section where she had stated that she had gone to Cupid's between 2000 and 2003, and that she had mentioned she had been going through a bad patch, the year would have been 2002.
Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that 2002 would have been the year that she had seen Mr Sheridan, to which she replied “No – that was when I had been going through a bad patch in my personal relationship”.
Mr Prentice asked the witness if she had told the truth to the police, to which she replied she had, both to the police, and today. Mr Prentice then put it to Ms Tucker that she agreed she had been to Cupid's between 2000 and 2003 and that is when she had seen Mr Sheridan. At this point Mr Sheridan objected that this was a leading question and contrary to what the witness had said.  Lord Bracadale upheld  the objection.

The Advocate Depute again asked about the date of this visit to Cupid's, with the witness responding “in my head, it was between 2003 and 2004. Because it was so long ago.”
Mr Prentice asked the witness how she knew Anvar Khan, to which she replied Ms Khan had dated her flatmate. Ms Tucker than agreed with the Advocate Depute that the encounter at Cupid's was the first time she had met Ms Khan, and when Mr Prentice asked if the witness had only ever met Ms Khan twice, she replied “Yes. As far as I know.”

Mr Prentice then asked when Ms Tucker would usually go to Cupid's, to which she stated it was usually between 9 and 10 at night, and that she had visited Cupid's between 2000 and 2003, as she was working in Spain and would go to Cupid's when she was back. Mr Prentice again read from Ms Tucker's police statement which quoting her as saying “As I was going through a bad patch, so the year could have been 2002”, to which Ms Tucker agreed. Mr Prentice asked the witness if the time she had met Mr Sheridan was on the one occasion she had been to Cupid's in 2004, to which she replied no, it had not. Mr Prentice then asked whether it could be concluded that the time the witness had met Mr Sheridan at Cupid's was between 2002 and 2003, to which the witness agreed.

Finally Mr Prentice asked Ms Tucker about the Lousie and Tony Cumberbirch (previous Crown witnesses whose testimony can be found Here and Here )  Ms Tucker replied that they "ran" Cupid's and would lock up the club at night. Mr Prentice established with the witness that she thought she and the Sheridan party would have gone to Ian's house between 11 and midnight, and that as the Cumberbirches normally locked up Cupid's around 2 or 3 in the morning, they would have arrived at Ian's after that time, and that Mr Sheridan was not at the house when they arrived. Mr Prentice drew Ms Tucker's attention to her statement where she stated “I am not sure Tony and Louise were there...” and Ms Tucker interjected that she “knew for a fact that they were not there”, but that they arrived later once Mr Sheridan's party had left.
Mr Prentice then thanked the witness and returned to his seat.

By Whatsy

1 comment:

Whatsy said...

Nobody noticed that this witness only recalled 3 people with TS at Cupid's? All three Crown witnesses so far have testified that there were 4 people with TS on the Cupid's trip.

This was also the first prosecution testimony I've seen where the Advocate Depute really struggled to get the evidence out of the witness - he must have had 3 or 4 separate attempts at getting the right date out of her, and appeared unusually frustrated.

Also, had to post a comment here as I found this a really difficult testimony to follow and write notes that made any sense.