|Picture Glasgow Herald|
Mr Sheridan then asked Mrs McFarlane is she had been present at her sister's home when it had been raided by Lothian and Borders police in December 2007. The witness said she had been and was asked to describe what happened. Mrs McFarlane told the court that there had been a total of 10 officers present, four CID and six in, what she described as, "police combat uniform." Mrs McFarlane said her sister gail was in a state of shock while Gabrielle, Mr and Mrs Sheridan's two year old daughter had been "crying and terrified" and "was trying to hide behind the sofa" at this point the witness broke down in tears so Mr Sheridan paused his questioning to allow her a moment to recover.
After that brief pause Mrs McFarlane continued to describe the 2007 police raid, telling the court it lasted for between "seven and eight hours." The witness also stated that at one point she had seen officers searching Gabrielle's "nursery" looking through her "toys and nappies and clothes" Mr Sheridan asked Mrs McFarlane if the police had given her any explanation of why they were serching there and if they had said they were looking for "weapons, drugs, of suitcases full of cash" Mrs McFarlane answered "no" to both questions.
Mr Sheridan then moved on and asked Mrs McFarlane if she had been following the progress of the case and if she knew that it had been claimed that her husband, Andrew McFarlane, had been "unfaithful to her and visited a Manchester sex club." The witness said she had known that and when asked how this had made her feel replied "physically sick." Mr Sheridan then stated that "unfortunately the allegations against your husband have been unspecific and virtually impossible to refute" adding that "a four year investigation and three month trial had only produced one specific date, Friday the 27th of September 2002" (the date the Crown assert that Mr Sheridan, Mr McFarlane and others visited the Cupids club in Manchester) Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if she knew where her husband had been on that date, Mrs McFarlane replied "yes I do."
Mrs McFarlane told the court that she had came home from work at around 9pm that night to find her husband watching golf on television (the Ryder cup) adding that he was a "golf fanatic." Mrs McFarlane also stated that at that time Mr McFarlane was still "recovering from a hip operation." Mr Sheridan then brought into evidence Mrs McFarlane's work rosters and her diary from the month of November 2002, and had copies given to the jury. The rosters appear to show that Mrs McFarlane had worked on a British Airways flight on the 27th of September going off duty at 21.30. Mr Sheridan asked the witness how she could have been home at 9pm when her roster showed her flight had not "cleared" 9.30pm. Mrs McFarlane replied that "after the time we land they add forty five minutes for a "debrief" but that "nobody ever does that" and she had driven straight home. Mr Sheridan asked that he was aware that she no longer worked for British Airways but if she did would "she be in trouble for saying that." Mrs McFarlane laughed and said "I don't think so, maybe" Mrs McFarlane was then shown her roster again and confirmed she had been on duty the next morning at 10.30 am. The court then rose for a brief break.
When the court reconvened Mr Sheridan asked the witness if she was familiar with the name Ian Proctor, Mrs McFarlane stated that Mr Proctor had been her manager at British Airways. Mr Sheridan asked Mrs McFarlane if she was aware that Mr Proctor had been listed as a prosecution witness but that he had never been called, Mrs McFarlane replied "no." Mr Sheridan then asked when Mrs McFarlane had located her roster and diary. Mrs McFarlane told the court that she had seen the date 27th November 2002 mentioned six to seven weeks ago on television and had discussed it with her husband. She had then looked for "proof of what I had done that day," located the roster and diary and passed this to Mr Sheridan's solicitor. Mr Sheridan then put it to Mrs McFarlane that if her husband was with her on the 27th September 2002 "he couldn't have been in a sex club in Manchester." The witness agreed "absolutely not" and stated when asked that she had told the truth in court today.
Mr Sheridan then asked Mrs McFarlane how well she knew her sister Gail Sheridan, to which she replied "more than you." The witness was then asked if her sister had told her about her interrogation by Lothian and Borders police in February 2007 Mrs McFarlane replied that "she had told me how badly she was treated, it was atrocious" Mr Sheridan then asked if Gail Sheridan had ever been trained by the "Provisional IRA or any other terrorist organisation" she said "no, never no." Mr Sheridan concluded by asking Mrs McFarlane if her husband had ever been unfaithful to her, to which she replied "absolutely not" adding she was "certain" that they had spent the evening of the 27th September 2002 together. Mr Sheridan then thanked the witness and returned to his seat in the dock.
Mr Nicholson then rose to cross-examine Mrs McFarlane for the prosecution. He opened by asking the witness how much a miniature bottle of white wine cost on the flights she worked on. She replied it was free on the service she served on and that a passenger would only need to "ask and we would give them it." Mr Nicholson then asked if Gail Sheridan had also worked for British Airways, which the witness confirmed she had until April this year. Mr Nicholson then asked the witness if she was at home on the 23rd September 2002, Mrs McFarlane replied that she "would have to check my roster" Mr Nicholson put it to the witness that the roster and diary only showed when she was working, not if she was at home or not, adding that "the diary and roster do not take us very far do they" as they did not state "Andy at home that day."
Mr Nicholson then returned the Mrs McFarlane's previous statement that one of the reasons she had recalled her husband being home on the 27th September 2002 was that he was watching the Ryder Cup, and asked what she knew about that event. The witness replied that it was a golf tournament between the "American's and European's" and was asked if "she was relying on her husband's information" about it. Mrs McFarlane replied that she "knew what it was" but accepted when asked if it was the "fourball or singles" that she "did not know the details. Mr Nicholson then said "I'm suggesting to you that you have no idea if he [Mr McFarlane] was at home on the 27th September" which the witness denied saying she remembered that night. Mr Nicholson then returned to his seat and Mr Sheridan left the dock to re-examine.
Mr Sheridan asked Mrs McFarlane of she had ever been asked before what she did on the 23rd September 2002, to which she replied no. Mr Sheridan asked her if she had become aware that the 27th September 2002 had been a "significant date" and if she had checked her roster and diary "to aid her memory" the witness replied "yes I did." adding that it was also the "September weekend" and that he husband had "still been in a lot of pain" as the result of a hipboperation. Mr Sheridan asked the witness that when she finished work did she usually go home and Mrs McFarlane replied that BA Cabin staff were not allowed to go to a pub or club in uniform so even if she was going out she always returned home to change into "civvies" Mr Sheridan asked the witness again if she had been truthful, to which Mrs McFarlane replied "I have told the truth, yes" Mr Sheridan then thanked the witness and returned to his seat in the dock. Lord Bracadale also thanked the witness and Mrs McFarlane was allowed to step down from the stand. Mr Sheridan then told the court that Gillian McFarlane was the last witness he would be calling in his defence and that he would now present the "joint minute" in 10 minutes. The court then rose while this was agreed between the two parties. (for a report on subsequent events in court on Friday see Here )