Mr Sheridan opened the evidence in chief with Mr Boyle by establishing that he is 73, a retired pipe fitter, and has been married for 55 years.
Mr Sheridan inquired how many children, and then grandchildren, Mr Boyle had, suggesting there were “too many to mention”. Mr Boyle responded “Too many for Christmas”, provoking laughter from the public gallery.
Mr Sheridan then asked how long the witness had known him, getting the response “40 years, man and boy”, and Mr Sheridan then asked how Mr Boyle knew him, with Mr Boyle replying “through football”, and that he had coached Mr Sheridan's team when he was a boy. Mr Sheridan asked “were we a good team?”, and Mr Boyle responded “Muirpark - Oh yes, we were the best team in Pollok”.
Mr Sheridan then put it to the witness that he had volunteered to be a witness in this trial, to which Mr Boyle agreed and stated that he had been in Asda and “I heard you, couldn't see you”, and that Mr Sheridan had been with his wife “debating about bread”. “I tapped your shoulder – you giving a lecture on bread now?”, and then Mr Boyle related how he had told the accused - “if it comes to court, put my name down” as a witness.
Mr Sheridan then asked Mr Boyle about his contact with police seeking a statement from him before the trial. Mr Sheridan asked if he had been caught cold by the police contacting him, to which Mr Boyle agreed, and that he had not given a statement. Mr Sheridan then asked if the witness was involved in community policing in Pollok, and the witness agreed that he was, as there was a lot of vandalism in the area.
Mr Sheridan then played the witness a portion of the “McNeilage Tape”(which the prosecution contend is a video showing Mr Sheridan admitting various allegations) and put it to the witness “Four Crown witnesses say that sounds like me on that tape – What do you say?”, and the witness replied “You're more methodical. It's not the Tommy Sheridan I know”.
Mr Sheridan then asked the witness “You took an oath today – are you telling the truth?”, and the witness responded “I sure am”.
Mr Sheridan then thanked the witness, asked him to stay where he was as the Advocate Depute may have questions for him, and returned to his seat in the dock.
Mr Prentice rose and stood at the lectern to begin his cross examination, asking “If I can take you back to that time in Asda when you heard Mr Sheridan debating bread – when was that?”, with the witness responding “2009”. Mr Prentice then asked the witness if he had seen the video before that date, with the witness stating that he had – on TV and the computer. Mr Prentice then reminded the witness of his earlier comment “If it goes to court, put my name down as a witness”, and asked what sort of court case the witness expected that it would be, with the witness replying “Fraud... err, no, ... telling lies...” with the Advocate Depute interjecting “Perjury”, and the witness agreeing “Perjury”. Mr Prentice then clarified with the witness that he was prepared to go to court to say it wasn't Mr Sheridan on the tape, to which the witness agreed.
Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that, having offered to be a witness in 2009, and having given a statement to Mr Sheridan's lawyers six months ago, he had not then given a statement to the police on behalf of the Crown. Mr Boyle responded that he didn't think he was going to be here, and that he had only been told yesterday that he was going to be required in court. The witness elaborated that the police had phoned him, told him he was going to be a witness and wanted a statement from him, but that nobody had told him this was going to happen. Mr Prentice responded that the witness knew that it was a possibility he was going to be called.
Mr Prentice then asked about the phone call between the police officer, Mr Houliston, who had contacted Mr Boyle, but found him unwilling to speak to the police, quoting Mr Houliston saying “I've not even asked any questions yet” when Mr Boyle had refused to answer any questions. The witness stated that he had told Mr Houliston “I don't want to listen to your questions”, and that he had no reason to speak to the police as he had already given a statement to Mr Sheridan's lawyers.
Mr Prentice put it to the witness “You didn't want to help the police”, with the witness responding that in Pollok, people were saying to "be careful who you speak to – it could be the News of the World." Mr Prentice asked whether this meant that it could be “the News of the World pretending to be police?”. Mr Boyle replied “Yes”, and with that the Advocate Depute thanked the witness and returned to his seat.
Mr Sheridan declined to re-examine the witness, so Lord Bracadale thanked Mr Boyle and informed him he was free to go.