|Picture: James Galloway|
Mr Sheridan began by recapping with Mr McFarlane his evidence from the previous day, confirming with the witness that he had become aware of the importance of the date Friday, 27th September 2002 in relation to this case around six or seven weeks ago during the course of this case. Mr McFarlane replied that regarding this date, he “could access it on the national news”, and that “my picture was on the national news”, going on to describe how he and his wife had discussed whether the hip operation was around that time, that he worked out that he was at home watching the golf, and that his wife had returned to the house around 9pm the evening in question.
Mr Sheridan asked “Are you keen on golf?”, with the witness replying “Very much so”, then describing that the golf he was watching was particularly memorable as it was the bi-annual Ryder Cup tournament, between teams from Europe and USA. Mr McFarlane went on to say that he had contacted his doctor to confirm the dates of the hip arthroscopy surgery, and Mr Sheridan produced a letter from Doctors Cameron, Duthie, Herron & Marshall, dated 13th December 2010, confirming the witness's hip surgery in August 2002 and a further 2 week sick line given to the witness on 26th September 2002. Mr Sheridan asked why the witness had waited until the 13th December 2010 to ask for this information, with the witness replying that it had been a very stressful time for him and his family, and had been busy with work also. Mr Sheridan asked the nature of the operation, with the witness describing a small camera being inserted to examine the hip. Mr Sheridan asked whether the camera was inserted in the hip area, with the witness responding “I think it was the groin area”. The witness went on to state that the recuperation from this surgery was not totally successful and subsequently he had required hip resurfacing surgery, an alternative to hip replacement.
Mr Sheridan moved on to ask the witness if, on 27th September 2002, it was possible he was in the company of Anvar Khan and Katrinne Trolle from mid-afternoon, as they had testified in court, to which the witness replied “Absolute nonsense”. Mr Sheridan asked the witness if there were any after effects of the hip surgery, the witness stating he had a “permanent limp”.
Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if he knew Gary Clark, which the witness confirmed, with Mr Sheridan stating that Mr Clark had testified that he recalled being in a car with Mr McFarlane, Mr Sheridan, Anvar Khan and Katrinne Trolle, and that they went to a sex club together, then asked the witness if Mr Clark was lying. Mr McFarlane replied “Yes”, and when Mr Sheridan asked if he was positive, replied “Absolutely”.
Mr Sheridan then displayed a copy of the Daily Record newspaper from Monday 7th August 2006, and the witness confirmed that in it was a story with a picture of him and his wife. Mr Sheridan asked “Was your wife Gillian in a particular way at the time?”, with the witness replying that she was expecting their first child. Mr Sheridan then led the witness through some of the newspaper article, which included Mr McFarlane denying that he was involved in any trip to Cupid's or that he had any sexual relationship wit Ms Khan or Ms Trolle, and Mr McFarlane confirmed that the content of the story accurately reflected his words. In particular, Mr Sheridan drew attention to a section where Mr McFarlane described how his wife Gillian had made him “swear on my mum's ashes and my unborn baby's life that the allegations were untrue”, and asked Mr McFarlane about his mother, with the witness replying that she had passed away in 1997.
Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if the date 27th September 2002 had meant anything to him at the time of the article and the Sheridan V News of the World defamation action in 2006, with the witness stating that this date had only come to mean anything to him in the course of the current trial. Mr Sheridan stated that they would discuss what Mrs McFarlane had said when she was called as a witness, and Mr McFarlane reiterated that he had told the truth in 2006, although the choice of words he used then would be difficult to say now. Mr Sheridan then displayed to the court a family photograph, with Mr McFarlane going round the photograph identifying himself, Gillian McFarlane, the joint accused Mr & Mrs Sheridan, Mrs Alice Sheridan, Lynn Sheridan, Mr McFarlane's father, the father of Mrs Sheridan & Mrs McFarlane. When he was finished, Mr Sheridan asked if he might have forgotten someone. After a brief pause, and some direction to look in the bottom right corner, Mr McFarlane commented "How could I forget - Jack the highland terrier".
Mr Sheridan then moved on to ask whether the witness recalled anything unusual about Gary Clark in September 2002, with the witness responding that Mr Clark had been going through an awful period involving alcohol as well as a course of treatment, and that he had tried to help Mr Clark, as many others had also done at the time.
Mr Sheridan then moved on to the witness's relationship with the accused, asking him how long they had known each other – the witness replying 16 years – and that they shared many interests including football, badminton, tennis and scrabble. Mr Sheridan asked the witness “Do I always beat you at Scrabble?”, eliciting the response “No”. Mr Sheridan stated that “I would like to remind you that you are still under oath - but unfortunately you are right”.
Mr Sheridan asked how the witness felt when the articles were published regarding his involvement in Mr Sheridan's sex life, with the witness responding that he had never been so offended and had been deeply hurt and angry.
Mr Sheridan then asked if he had ever met Susan or Suzy Dobbie, with the witness stating he had never heard of her.
Finally, Mr Sheridan asked whether Mr McFarlane was telling lies in court, which the witness denied.
With that, Mr Sheridan left the lectern and returned to the dock beside the co-accused, his wife Gail Sheridan.