Thursday, December 16, 2010

Andrew McFarlane - Part 2 - Cross Examination & Re-Examination

After Mr Lavell, acting for Mrs Sheridan in the absence of Paul McBride QC, declined to examine the witness, the prosecution, Advocate Depute Mr Alex Prentice QC rose and moved behind the lectern close to the jury and press section of the gallery.

Firstly, Mr Prentice asked the witness if he had ever attended a Manchester derby football match, which Mr McFarlane denied. The Advocate Depute then asked if the witness if he had no interest in politics, which was confirmed by the witness, followed by Mr Prentice asking if the witness had ever been a member of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) The witness replied “Can't recall”, with the Advocate Depute querying this, and the witness repeating that he could not recall ever being a member of the SSP.

Mr Prentice then asked the witness whether Anvar Khan, Katrinne Trolle and Gary Clark were all lying in their accounts of visiting Cupid's sex club with the witness and Mr Sheridan. Mr McFarlane replied “Yes, that's what I'm saying.”

Mr Prentice then asked the witness that, as he was not political, there could be “no reason for the SSP having a go at you?”, and that there could be “no reason for the News of the World going after you?”, with the witness replying “No” to both.
Mr Prentice then asked that it must be “incredibly reckless” of Anvar Khan, Katrinne Trolle and Gary Clark to name him as having gone to Cupid's with them on 27th September 2002, as “there could be incontrovertible evidence that you were elsewhere”, such as a sportsman's dinner or a hospital outpatient's. Mr McFarlane replied “there is", stating he had not been to Cupid's. Mr Prentice suggested that from their point of view, it would have been reckless, as he could have been anywhere on that date and they would not know about it. Mr McFarlane replied “No. I know so.”, and again denied he could have been anywhere. Mr Prentice again suggested that Ms Khan, Ms Trolle and Mr Clark could not have known where he would be on that date, and again the witness denied he could have been “anywhere” and that the three mentioned would not know where he was, as Gary Clark would have known if he had been in hospital.

Mr Prentice then asked if Mr Clark was a friend, with the reply “no” from the witness. Mr Prentice commented “let's not fence about this”, and put it to the witness that at the time of the alleged visit to Cupid's in 2002, they had been friends, to which the witness agreed.

Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that during the course of following this trial there must have been a “Eureka moment” when the witness realised he could account for his whereabouts on the 27th September 2002. In response the witness stated the Advocate Depute would have to explain “Eureka”. Mr Prentice moved on to ask whether the witness had ever discussed his evidence, particularly regarding the date of the alleged Cupid's visit, with Mr Sheridan. The witness replied that he had not, but that he had contacted Mr Sheridan's lawyers regarding it. Mr Prentice asked again whether the witness had ever discussed the 27th of September 2002 with Mr Sheridan, and Mr McFarlane replied that prior to 6 or 7 weeks ago there had been no need.

Mr Prentice then put before the witness the charge sheet of the accused, Mr Sheridan, stating that this had been issued a long time ago. At this point Mr Sheridan objected, stating that there were different versions and dates of the charge sheet, and Mr Prentice stated that he was about to mention that, and continued. Mr Prentice drew the witness's attention to paragraph M, where one of the charges against Mr Sheridan was attending Cupid's with Andrew McFarlane and (others previously mentioned) on 27th September 2002, then drew attention to this document's date last amended of 13-July-2009. Mr Prentice then asked the witness to confirm that “neither Mr Sheridan or his lawyers ever came to you and discussed this date until six or seven weeks ago?”. The witness replied “I can't recall”, and Mr Prentice responded “You were very definite a moment ago”.

Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that he did go to Cupid's with Anvar Khan, Katrine Trolle, Gary Clark & Mr Sheridan, to which Mr McFarlane replied “Total nonsense”. Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that he had met Susan Dobbie with Mr Sheridan, with the witness again responding “Total nonsense”.

Mr Prentice then moved on to the occasion when Mr McFarlane had attended a family gathering to view the scan of Mr and Mrs Sheridan's unborn child. Mr McFarlane confirmed he had attended this gathering, but that it was difficult to recall the date. Mr Prentice asked if the witness was able to form any impression of where Mr Sheridan had been before this event, but the witness could not. Mr Prentice asked the witness if this could have been on the date of 9th November 2004, and the witness agreed it could have been. The witness went on to add that it had been a jovial occasion concerning the 20-week scan. Mr Prentice asked if it had been a memorable event, which the witness agreed it had, then asked the witness if he had attended this event, to which the witness replied “I imagine so”, with the Advocate Depute responding “You imagine so?”, and the witness replied “I would have made sure I was there”.

With that, Mr Prentice thanked the witness and returned to his seat.

Mr Sheridan then returned to the lectern to re-examine the witness, and continued with the subject of the event regarding Gail's scan. Mr Sheridan asked the witness to recall the details of viewing the scan, but the witness stated he couldn't recall anything specifically. Mr Sheridan asked whether the witness recalled traveling to Bellshill, to which the witness replied that he did, but that the dates are difficult to recall. Mr Sheridan asked the witness if he could recall the specific date in November of the visit, and the witness replied “No”.

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if he had read the indightment against Mr Sheridan. Mr McFarlane replied that he had not, and that as he had never been in court before, his legal knowledge was sketchy.

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness to recall that during the 2006 defamation trial in which he had testified, Katrinne Trolle had stated that the alleged trip to Cupid's happened in November 2001, and that Anvar Khan had also stated that the trip was in November 2002, so therefore the witness had now heard three different dates for the alleged trip to Cupid's. The witness agreed.

Mr Sheridan finished his re-examination of the witness by asking him if he had ever met Anvar Khan or Katrinne Trolle, to which Mr McFarlane replied “Never”.

Mr Sheridan then vacated the lectern and returned to his seat in the dock, and the presiding judge Lord Bracadale thanked the witness and told him he was free to go.


yulefae said...

Can I Borrow a Tea-Bag,This case stinks from the word go i,ve never seen a persecution like this in my life,and iv,e seen a few,the fact it,s the first perjury trial to come from a civil case and the other way it,s been conducted is nothing short of scandalous in my opinion,and btw i know none of these socialists

Anonymous said...

Don't think this witness was credible around the issue of the date and not having taken any heed of it. His name was on an indictment for what has been the highest profile Scottish criminal trial in recent memory.

Watcher said...

Which date? there have been three or four. I can understand why he was confused about what date the prosecution was going to claim this week, I was.

Anonymous said...

I think Prentice did very well there.

Pinnochio said...

Lots of loose strings here, Manchester Derby, outpatients appointment (different to 'being in hospital') Sports dinner, family gathering, Eureka moment.
Can't wait to see if AP ca pull all together but he sounds like a man on a mission.

Anonymous said...


the date as it appeared on the indictment in July 2009.

That date.

Swear on the Bible said...

Yulefae the case came about because some people have a total disregard for the Law, they think they can come to court and tell lie after lie and get away with it.Better a world where such people are exposed than to live under anarchists who have no respect for the Law. This trial may get to the truth whatever that might be.

Watcher said...

One never knows, the shifting dates of the cupids trip has been one of the most entertaining bits of the trial. I sometimes expect Mr Prentice to throw his hands up and say "Ok it happened, we don't know when but it did, ok!"

Having been in court today I must say I thought that was a bit of an open goal, which Sheridan enjoyed slamming into the net on re-examination.

Anonymous said...


the date has not changed since that indictment was created in July 2009. Alex Prentice seemed to find it remarkable that Mr McFarlane did not have any discussion with Mr Sheridan or his legal team until six weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Mcfarlane seems to have had a minor procedure (around his groin he 'thinks' = small scar but still visible on the body and a constant reminder) and then a hip resurfacing (much bigger op requiring a period of recuperation). Was it made clear in the GP evidence exactly when the latter happened, if it was just before alledged Cupid vistsmthe patient would be wincing at the thought a 4+ hour car journey.

Bunc said...

How can someone "not recall" being a member of a radical left wing socialist party? Are they in the habit of just randomly joining parties so often that the event dissapears into the mists of memory. Is he a serial "joiner" ?

Perhaps his hip was playing up that day as well?

Bunc said...

"remarkable that Mr McFarlane did not have any discussion with Mr Sheridan or his legal team until six weeks ago."

remarkable? I would call it astonishing.

Bobby said...

@ Yulefae

Can I ask what your position is on Jonathan Aitken and more specifically, Jeffrey Archer? Do you think it was wrong wrong for the Crown to seek a prosecution against them? I'd be keen to hear your position in relation to them.

The undeniable fact is, TS won 200,000 big ones against the NotW. A massive amount of money. Such was the seriousness of the case, and the contradictory nature of the testimony, the judge at the time felt it necessary to launch a perjury investigation. Clearly, TS's supporters feel this has been unfair from the offset, but I think if this was any other politician, Labour, Tory or otherwise, I don't think anyone on here would be protesting as much about the costs of the case.

Watcher said...

"he judge at the time felt it necessary to launch a perjury investigation"

Just for your information Judges in our legal system do not investigate anything or "launch" investigations. The judge remarked at the end of the civil trial when the jury found in favour of Mr Sheridan let us not forget, that given the contradictory
nature of the testimony he would not be surprised if a perjury inquiry was launched. As Wiki states

On Monday 7 August 2006, Lothian and Borders Police said they had received two complaints of perjury, one from the former Conservative MSP Brian Monteith the other alleged to be from the SSP's minutes secretary"

As we now know Rosie Kane and Carolyn Leckie went to the HQ of Lothian and Borders police with Barbara Scott where they handed over evidence to the police and made a complaint that a crime had been committed. The police then "launched" the investigation.

public interest said...

the crown didnt seek prosecution or launch a police investigation following the archer and aitken defamation cases. In archers case he was exposed by a former friend then admitted it, in aitkens it was the relentless work of the guardian that eventually brought him down.

In both of those cases there was specific evidence, forensic evidence that led to a conviction. In this case despite having three years of a full police investigation there isnt a single hotel receipt, or physical evidence.

Also, one particular difference with aitken is that he was phoned by police and asked to attend the police station at a suitable arranged time, not a starsky and hutch arrest at his work and a search of his house.

There has NEVER been a perjury case in Scotland following a civil action and very rarely following a murder trial, this case has been the most ever spent on a perjury investigation and the most people ever charged with perjury.

The costs are an issue only when compared to normal practice.

Anonymous said...

yes watcher, and the crown launched a full investigation a few days after the NoW published the Mcneilage tape. The judge didnt and couldnmt launch the case.

The proof of this is in the evidence we have seen, the judges comments were about the whole evidence not one side of the evidence, yet the police didnt caution some witnesses from 2006 over perjury, therefore they were not suspects.

It is very clear that this was an investigation into Sheridan and his witnesses following the new 'evidence' presented to the police and newspapers by the SSP.

If it was caused by the judges comments then some police will be in serious trouble as every witness from 2006 should have been a suspect and therefore cautioned about perjury when interviewed.

Hmmm said...

Two complaints, a Tory and two "socialist" MSP's

Says it all really.

Anonymous said...

But Watcher, not strictly true, Judges do write reports on trials and do express their views; I doubt that anyone would dismiss the clearly expressed views of Lord Turnbull as the rantings of some babbling idiot.

Anonymous said...

I am a scot living in Germany (and have been for the last 30 years). I find this case and the blog here incredibly entertaining. Has the blog owner taken a poll yet to find out if his viewers believe TS is gulity or not?
Just an idea.
(I think he is guilty)

Watcher said...

I'm sure they would not anon, but the actual complaint that L&B police told the world led to the investigation was made by Brian Monteith (Tory) and Ms Scott et al (Socialist)

That is the fact, we can argue why it may have happened but not what did.

Anonymous said...

I have to say this all seems very tame. They did not really party very well. The stag do for these guys must have been a snooze fest.

James Doleman said...

Hello marvinfaethescheme

No problem with the comment except the phrase "Hammer blow" could you rephrase and I'd be happy to post it.

Best Regards


Anonymous said...

I dont think the outcome of this trial will neccesarely come down to wether the jury think TS is guilty or not. More to do with will the jury confict him or not

yulefae said...

Watcher,SORRY FOR THE DELAY,and the caps,JA&JA dont know the full story with them but have read the last few posts from my emails,they were done bang to rights.
Another wee point MSscott if i remember phoned the press to accompany her to Lothian and Borders to put in her complaint,
wonder who put her up to this?Bob The Dog

Anonymous said...

We shouldnt underestimate the possibility that certain members of this glasgow based jury would find it difficult to confict TS under any circumstance,given all he has done for the poor in certain parts of glasgow

Anonymous said...

I really think that TS is just playing us for the proverbial "daftie". I may be wrong, but it's just a gut feeling that I have.

Anonymous said...

Any more posts tonight ,or is it bed time

James Doleman said...

Not bed time for us, two more at least tonight #yawn

Anonymous said...

How long does the closing speaches (or whatever they are called) normally take in a high court trial?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.37 'Daftie'
Totally agree and if it works like in my opinion it did in first trial, the justice system that depends on dafties to make decisions based on analysis of evidence is dead and buried.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:24, You are right on that. It's one thinking someone is guilty and convicting him even on a blog, but a difference pound of mince having to do the "dirty deed" in court. I would hate to be in that position, my head would be spinning.

Anonymous said...

One famous advocate that smokes a pipe gives closing speeches around about the 8 - 10 hour mark. And that's about as long as they come, Prosecution speeches are usually shorter, just depends... on a lot of things.

marvinfaethescheme said...

It strikes one as extremely unlikely that an afficionado of scrabble, indeed a distinguished wordsmith by all accounts, would require the meaning of Eureka to be explained. And the contradiction over the "memorable" nature of the event must surely be a disapointment for the defence. The accused's tendency to re-examine, while entirely proper, is perhaps telling as to how the pendulum is swinging. Still, it is not all over and nothing ceases to surprise me about this case.
By marvinfaethescheme on Andrew McFarlane - Part 2 - Cross Examination & Re... at 10:20 PM

Anonymous said...

I'm in no way criticising the Jury, but in my opinion if the justice system worked the way it should we wouldn't be having this trial in the first place.

Boab said...

However Scotland has only had a Parliament since 1999 after nearly 300 year break. Sheridan and his crew wanted to be politicians in the parliament and politicians in parliaments make laws.

You canny be a law maker and then decide to disregard the law. It is precisely because Sheridan was a law maker that has happened.

Seems to be a lot of cake wanting and eating to tell the truth!

Guardian goes after Aitken, NOTW goes after Sheridan. One is OK and the other is not? Why? Why must Tories follow the law but socialists don't have too = its a ropey argument. Not that I am a fan of the News of the World or the Sun - never bought either of them!

If its auce for the goose, its sauce for the gander!

Anonymous said...

Aye, Boab it's like that Judge the other day throwing a wobbly in court because she herself was was... gosh, expected to abide by the Law. Maybe some types think that the Law is only for ordinary folk.

intriguedandcurious said...

@public interest 9:59pm

“There has NEVER been a perjury case in Scotland following a civil action and very rarely following a murder trial, this case has been the most ever spent on a perjury investigation and the most people ever charged with perjury.

The costs are an issue only when compared to normal practice.”

Could this be because there has never been such a breathtaking civil action in Scotland as one where a pursuer (allegedly) intentionally used a court of law as the forum in which to perpetrate a (£200,000) fraud against A.N. Other?

Much of the perjury that takes places in the courts on a daily basis is by those in the course of a trial/action and not by those who instigate such. Perjury is inevitable in the former but is avoidable, (and indeed criminal), in the latter. Furthermore, much of the former takes place without a view to the alleged perjurer gaining financially by a legally binding (subject to appeal) outcome.

As to the cost of this trial: cost is irrelevant in upholding the rule of law; the rule of law requires upholding at any cost whatsoever. And upholding the rule of law is indeed normal practice.

charles said...

"Furthermore, much of the former takes place without a view to the alleged perjurer gaining financially by a legally binding (subject to appeal) outcome."

Nonsense, the majority of civil proofs involve financial gain for one party.

" cost is irrelevant in upholding the rule of law; the rule of law requires upholding at any cost whatsoever."

Again that isn't true. The consideration that we refer to as 'public interest' is entirely a financial call. It is the weighing of the cost of an action against the gains and against what could be done with that. There isnt a finite budget and a decision to pursue a case like this becomes - always - a decision not to do other things.

Thats is why we never see actions like this following a civil proof, in all cases before and since it was considered too costly and risky compared with what else could be done with those resources.

Perjury is a very difficult charge to prove and from what we have seen the resources that have been allocated haven unturned much more than what was handed to the police anyway.

A guilty verdict is essential for the Crown or someone will pay for this, and it probably wont happen ever again.

Anonymous said...

"or someone will pay for this" who? AP?

intriguedandcurious said...

@Charles 1:40am

With respect, you appear to have misunderstood my post. When I wrote “...much of the former...” I was referring to witnesses called to give evidence in trials/actions and not pursuers raising actions. I thought this was clear - I apologise if this was not the case. The majority of civil proofs do not involve financial gain for witnesses.

As to my statement regarding the rule of law, your comment pertaining to ‘public interest’ also misses the point, in my opinion. The rule of law as I understand it is that everyone is equal before the law and no-one is above it and it is that that I opine should be upheld at any cost.

To my mind, there is nothing further from the public interest than individuals, (any individuals whatsoever), being allowed to (allegedly) intentionally use a court of law to knowingly perpetrate a fraud. That demonstrates breathtaking contempt for both the legal system and the court and is as far from being in the public interest as it can get. The public interest element is not entirely a financial call.

Credulous said...

Re: all this guff in my opinion about the "public interest" what about people appearing in the district court day-in-day out for stealing those daft we pens, MOTHERS on INCOME SUPPORT stealing food from MULTINATIONAL SUPERMARKETS who make BILLIONS OF POUNDS in PROFIT to feed their STARVING WEANS, MOTHERS being sent to jail for not paying their TV licence, ORDINARY FOLK prosecuted for driving the wrong way up a one-way street, is this all in the "public interest". And here we have a person standing trial for (allegedly) using the court system to FRAUDENTLY obtain £200,000 (a lot of MOTHERS could feed a lot of STARVING WEANS with that kind of money). Methinks this "public interest" is being used rather selectively.