Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Morning update

This morning the court heard from three witnesses. Louise Cumberbirch, her husband Anthony and Ian Campbell, a SSP member.

Louise Cumberbirch told the court that she had attended the Cupids club in Manchester in 2002 when she met a party of 5 "Scottish people." She stated she had then gone with this group to a party at the house of a friend "Ian" before returning home. However she told the court she could not identify any of these people although she gave descriptions of them. Neither Mr Sheridan or Mr McBride cross-examined.

Anthony Cumberbirch gave essentially the same account as his wife, however unlike her he did identify Tommy Sheridan as one of the group that visited Cupids. Mr Sheridan brought into evidence Mr Cumberbirch's previous criminal convictions which included, trespass with a firearm, Actual bodily harm, handling of stolen goods and possession of class "B" drugs with intent to supply and put it to the witness he was "not an honest man."

The third witness of the morning was Ian Campbell, he testified that previous witness John (Jock) Penman had told him he was "prepared to lie for Tommy Sheridan."

Full report to follow later today.

27 comments:

former ssp said...

this is interesting, there's no obvious reason why the cupids couple would be lying, especially if he has a criminal record of that length, you would think he would want to keep out of the spotlight- and there's nothing glamorous about owning up to meeting someone in a sex club

Anonymous said...

Spot on, that was an own goal bringing up the guy's criminal record. Anyone with that kind of record is going to avoid having anything to do with the Police ans bed over backwards to avoid being dragged into court as he more than anyone will know that his record will be dragged up and thrown into the public spotlight.

Anonymous said...

yeah, I wonder if the guy with the record went to the cops (like Elizabeth Quinn) or the cops went to him.

Anonymous said...

the crim guy looked real cheesed off at getting dragged into this..

Anonymous said...

anyone know how long ago these guys convictions were - in his youth? kind of stupid saying about the guy lying in court too - there is a difference between a guilty person lying in court to get off and lying in court to get an innocent person sent down.

Anonymous said...

why did this couple not get a taxi to escape those pesky photographers and tv crews?

The Lumpen Sociologist said...

not exactly into this sort of thing but dont people that are into this take videos with a camera or mobile. Is there a website redsonthebedsxxx.com somewhere.
As for the guys convictions you should see some of the dodgy gets that hang around Glasgow Labour.

Anonymous said...

"anyone know how long ago these guys convictions were" - 40 years ago, he is 53, so we are talking about offences committed when he was 13.

sceptic said...

The question I'd like to have answered was whether this guy was unearthed by the NoTW or by the police. If by the NoTW, I'm sure he is being well compensated for his trouble, having to come to court!

Perhaps he has already signed a contract for the exclusive, or even an advance on the book he will publish...

Anonymous said...

but dont people that are into this take videos with a camera or mobile. - were mobile phone cameras that ubiquitous back then?

Anonymous said...

If TS was really where this guy alleges why would TS sign the "ledger" with his real name? What is he saying - Do the club ask for ID, you have to be a member, or did another one of the party do it?

Anonymous said...

He said that on one occasion, when he was convicted of handling stolen goods, he 'took the blame for someone else'.

Sheridan said: 'That is lying in court. You are a proven liar.'

Anonymous said...

Mr Cumberbirch replied: 'If that's what it is, then that's what it is. I am telling the truth now.'

Anonymous said...

@ sceptic, you not this that TS would have made a meal out of it if there was a scintilla that the NoW had dug this guy up; it is more likely to be the police as they have more authority and investigatory powers than the Now, the Police will have been all over this club.

Anonymous said...

sceptic - this guy doesn't look like he could write his own name never mind a book.

Dementia Rules said...

'drunken Scots' I don't know anyone, even thse who are opposed to TS who have ever seen him drinking alcohol let alone drink! If they were both at the club and the house how is it that one says yes to recognition and the other no?

Anonymous said...

You have to ask why the prosecution called Mrs Cumberbirch if she wasnt prepared to identify Sheridan.

Overall this was a bad day for the prosecution. Mr Campbell left Jock Penman in a better position than yesterday and the best Mr Ferguson could do was say that Penman "didnt disagree" with someone elses claims about Sheridan.

The other three seemed to be clutching at straws and, so far, we havent seen any evidence to back up their claims. The suicide-bomber thing was a huge mistake.

Is evidence that you saw someone "flirting", from across the street, 10 years ago, any good to the prosecution at this stage?

This is fast becoming an embarasment for the Crown. I cringed all day.

Anonymous said...

Dementia Rules - as far as the laws of evidence goes recognising someone in the dock is crucial -it's no insignificant detail. That's probably why TS didn't question Louise Cumberbirch (learning from the ill-fated Eliazbeth Quinn cross-examination)in case she turned round and said: "Oh, come to think of it, you do look familiar", best left well alone. And, for the same reason, why he went on to cross-exam Anthony Cumberbirch.

Campbell McGregor said...

I think it's unfair to make allegations against witnesses which were not put to them under cross-examination.

Anonymous said...

prentice got what he was after. one out of the two cumberbirchs IDing TS was good enough for prentice - the other one would have been the icing on the cake. now we have an "independent" witness corroborating the testimony of the SSP and NoW witnesses.

Anonymous said...

SSP, NoW, Cumberbirch witnesses and a mobile phone record would be like... pretty unconvincing.

Anonymous said...

Louise Cumberbitch's testimony is pretty much redundant expect to add further credibility to her husbands, it's Anthony Cumberbirch's, that from
a legal perspective is deadly. Accused person DO NOT want to be IDed in the dock. It is a court procedure and absolutely critical to a successful prosecution. Cases which rely on ID evidence where the accused cannot be identified will inevitably collapse.

Anonymous said...

anon 8.25 - I didnt see a mobile phone record in court that would do anything other than undermine the Crown case, both mobile phone references today didnt anhance the crown case.

anon 8.19 - one out of two witnesses IDing Sheridan isnt a good result, If someone cannot verify the accusation its best that they dont appear. Prentice will only be calling witnesses that he belives will add to his case.

Prentice must have thought that she would ID him. Sheridan didnt cross-examine her as there was obviously no need, she hadnt provided any evidence against him.

Bunc said...

The evidence for the crowns case is coming from all directions now. A defence of "bad people in the SSP are out to get me" doesn't explain away evidence by these witnesses. The evidence of any one witness may be "bitty" but overall it is accumulating and it's difficult to see how it can be convincingly explained away.

Victor English said...

Bunc, we havent seen the defence witnesses yet. The evidence of one witness is 'bitty' but the same could be said of taking only the prosecution witnesses into account.

We have no way of knowing how powerful this evidence is (or isnt) until we see the whole case.

Sheridan's defence against the allegations that he went to that club seem to be based on other witnesses that will say he was somewhere else and people from the club who say he was never there. He has indicated as much so far. Sheridan revealed today that the owners of the club will contradict Cumberbirch's evidence. And he mentioned previously that witnesses will place him elsewhere on that night.

His defence against the SSP witnesses was based on the "people out to get me" angle, but as the Crown move on to other areas the defence will respond accordingly.

Its not all that hard to follow if you refer to the indictment and remember that a case isnt won or lost in one day or on one witness alone. As each witness gives testimony, check against the indictment to figure out what the Crown are attempting to prove. Try to picture what else could come up to enhance that evidence and also, what Sheridan will do to counteract that evidence. Doing that is a better way of following a case than imagining that one particular piece of evidence or testimony is a defining moment. Defining moments can only be seen with hindsight.

Today was a very mixed bag. The two witnesses against Penman couldnt say that he told them Sheridan confessed. One of them seemed to confirm Sheridans "out to get me" theory with his text messages, or at least out to get Penman. The other was also caught out by previous phone messages. I expect Prentice will have other witnesses or evidence on this or he would not have made the Penman issue a point of the prosecution. Alternatively, he possibly didnt expect the stuff about the phone calls and may feel that the Penman story is a dead duck and move on.

One off the Cupids witnesses couldnt identify or describe Sheridan, I found it very surprising that she was called. Its difficult not to conclude that she had intended to identify Sheridan or at least Prentice had expected her to.

The other three were new evidence, that Sheridan confessed elsewhere on other occassions. I would imagine that there will be more to come on that too. It is difficult to tell whether those witnesses are credible or not until we see the full stories and what evidence is out there to back up their claims. But they don't pertain directly to any of the counts on the indictment and are there to bolster the allegations rather than prove perjury or not.

It is easy to imagine that this was a good day for the defence, but taking the witnesses we saw today in isolation from the full picture that will emerge, would be a mistake.

Does anyone know why tomorrow is called off? Or was it discussed without the jury present?

There are now two excellent rumours floating around the gossip mills of Scottish Courts, one pertaining to the charges and proceedings and one about the Sheridans personally. I don't know what some people will talk about when all of this is over.

Anonymous said...

The best (or worst) piece of evidence so far has been the tape. So which one is it? A genuine confession by TS which were we to take at face value is damning? Or is a "spliced" concoction put together by unknown part(ies)?

Anonymous said...

"There are now two excellent rumours floating around the gossip mills of Scottish Courts, one pertaining to the charges and proceedings and one about the Sheridans personally." - tell us more...