Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ian Hamilton QC

Ian Hamilton QC has written an analysis of the current trial that I believe would be interest to many readers of this site. Mr Hamilton states that. in his opinion;

"The News of the World has at last won its vendetta against a left wing politician. It has done so with the connivance of the Lord Advocate. If at first you don’t succeed keep trying. Scottish justice has notched up another political miscarriage of justice alongside that of Al Megrahi and Muir of Huntershill. "

The full  article can be found here Here. For background, readers may also find Mr Hamilton's entry on wikipedia of interest. 


Scottish legal Blogger Lallands Peat Worrier has written a reply to Mr Hamilton's piece, this can be found Here


Anonymous said...

combien apologistes sont-ils?

l'Emporer n'a pas de vĂȘtements

Anonymous said...

Is Ian Hamilton QC another of the 'conspiracy theorists'?

Did he sit through the trial and listen to the evidence?

He should know better.

I understand the NOTW will be publishing some more revelations tomorrow. No doubt Tommy's supporters will brand these revelations as yet more lies by the Murdoch empire.

I'm sorry that Tommy is, in all probability, going to prison for what may be a fairly long time. I am some distance from him politically but I admire him for his staunch adherence to his principles. I have no doubt he has worked tirelessly in pursuance of his beliefs.

I suspect there was enough evidence to convict Gail as well. But I'm relieved that their daughter hasn't been deprived of both parents.

Sad times.

James Doleman said...

"I understand the NOTW will be publishing some more revelations tomorrow"

That is an interesting comment, would you care to tell us more?

Anonymous said...

You suspect there was enough evidence to convict Mrs S as well?

Lord help us all if suspicion has become sufficient.

bustedflush said...

My first comment but I've read every word of this excellent blog.

The continued defense of the indefensible is quite astonishing though I have some admiration for the tenacity of Tommy Sheridan's die hard supporters (and Tommy Sheridan himself).

I am not a member of any political party. I do have symathy for Tommy and hope that the sentence is not excessive but he brought it on himself and it was absolutely right that an investigation and prosecution was mounted for such a high profile and blatant perjury. One that was commited in order to obtain a large amount of money.

Ian Hamilton's article is pompous quasi-legal nonsense. A jury (the civil trial) is misled and delivers a perverse verdict and we are expected to treat that verdict as a tablet of stone and brand everyone who gave evidence against Tommy as liars? Does that mean that every time a jury delivers a verdict then there should be no appeal no matter what new evidence etc emerges?

Anonymous said...

"Is Ian Hamilton QC another of the 'conspiracy theorists'?

Did he sit through the trial and listen to the evidence?

He should know better."
How should he know better?

CB said...

Thomas Muir was transported for sedition in the cause of parliamentary reform. Al Megrahi was convicted (on inadequate evidence, it seems to me) of blowing up a plane. TS has been found guilty of committing perjury to cover up a series of bonking exploits.

Can you imagine what Muir would have thought about Sheridan?

Ian Hamilton QC should think more carefully before uttering such daft words!

Anonymous said...

James, you've done so well. Brilliantly. Don't take his bait.

We would like to have a little more than suspicion about the evidence to support a conviction. Else, Lord help us all.

Anonymous said...

It'a a shame that there isn't a wikileaks type website where employees of the Murdoch's News Corporation can anonymously post information about the workings of that dark organisation.

We know that British prime ministers kowtow to his employees, such is the power of his organisation.

Police officers fail to investigate allegations against his newspapers in the same way that they investigate British citizens accused of criminal acts

There are now accusations that Scotland's Lord Advocate was heavily and improperly influenced by employees of Murdoch's empire.

Each one of us, where ever we work or live, hears daily the contempt that our fellow citizens hold towards this organisation.

However, for reasons that we all suspect, but cannot voice, most of our politicians are unwilling to speak out.

Throughout the planet there must be 100,000's and probably millions of people that truely hate Murdoch and are willing to make a stand against him and his sycophants.

Could someone host a website, out of reach of our ridiculous libel laws, that protect organisations like News Corporation, so that people around the globe can start to fight back against this organisation.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading this brilliant blog from the start. Maximum respect from a die-hard Tory to James and his helpers for their efforts. Such a public-spirited contribution to citizen journalism (and to the historic record) deserves some kind of a prize.


Anonymous said...

Thanks James for this excellent blog all the way through the trial.

The opinions of bustedflush above completely concur with my own, apart from I have zero sympathy with Sheridan.

It would have been bad enough if he just risked dragging himself down, but he expected his friends, family and colleagues to risk sinking with him.

All the bad things that Ian Hamilton listed that happened to Sheridan's family were Sheridan's fault and not the police/government.

Anonymous said...

Compelling words from Peter Jones in Scotland on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Compelling words from Kevin McKenna in the Observer.

HuftyBuftyWufty said...

So at one point IH QC writes "They [Murdoch/establishment etc] don't like his politics.Nor do I"

Then within two paras he continues "We [TS and IHQC] have political interests in common".

Everything IHQC argues was wrong about the prosecution was laid before the jury. There is no doubt that TS did that in spades.

TS was convicted by a Glasgow jury. End of story.

Whatsy said...

Tommy Sheridan prepares his appeal:

Whatsy said...

Re: "Compelling words from Kevin McKenna in the Observer"

My initial reaction to that comment was "that will be a first". I will now read the article, and report back if I have grossly underestimated Mr McKenna's talents.

Anonymous said...

haha an appeal on the basis he couldn't keep going with the totally irrelevant phone tapping stuff? And wasn't allowed to call a comedian to come do impressions of him in court?

Oh aye, strong case that.

Whatsy said...

Another link - this time focused a bit more on what happened in the court.

Anonymous said...

Whatsy, when I wrote 'compelling words from Keven McKenna', I was making a subtle observation about the comment above which said 'compelling words from Peter Jones'

Anonymous said...

"But greater even than my loyalty to my friends is my loyalty to the law of Scotland. I spent a lifetime trying to uphold its standards. The prosecution of Mr and Mrs Sheridan was against every known principle."

Standards like taking an oath means something? Standards like not telling lies in court?

Ian Hamilton also seems to forget that it was Tommy who took the fight to the courts.

Anonymous said...

Sheridan in today's NotW wearing a football shirt emblazoned with ... NotW.

the_voice_of_reason said...

I am sad to say that, in his declining years, Ian Hamilton's pronouncements have been marked by both a great degree of sourness and a paranoia about the legal establishment. Despite his undoubted courtroom skills as a younger man, he chose not to "play the game" at Parliament House, remaining a maverick. For that, he deserved respect.

However, as an old man he is in danger of being remembered more for his ill-tempered and fact-free rants. The Lord Advocate could quite easily sue him for his defeamatory comments, but no doubt will not. Those at Crown Office whom I know and trust confirm that the decision to prosecute was in no way influenced by the attitude of the "NOTW", and it is sad that an old man in Argyll for whom I once had great respect should publish this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Those at Crown Office whom I know and trust confirm that the decision to prosecute was in no way influenced by the attitude of the "NOTW""
Because you know and trust them doesn't make it true that the decision to prosecute was in no way influenced by the attitude of the "NOTW.

paw said...

I really am disturbed by the appearance of footage of police interviews, in police premises of Tommy Sheridan and Gail. This appears in the BBC Documentary; The rise and Lies of Tommy Sheridan, which was on late in the evening about eight hours after the verdict was delivered by the jury.

It can been seen here;

For those beyond these shores, This is footage from the police interview room! From about 5 minutes into the program we are shown video in which he admits to having 3 in a bed sex which included an unnamed Scottish Footballer. This event took place, I believe, before Tommy was married.

We also see in other footage which appears to be taken in the same room, footage of Gail Sheridan being interviewed by a police officer. She remains silent during the interview and the officer suggests that she has been trained in this method of approaching police interrogation as this is an known IRA technique for dealing with interrogation.

Where did this footage come from? Well, obviously the police. How can it be legal to show this, even now?

"The BBC has obtained these police interview tapes", says the presenter.

Was the News of the World in any way.
Or is this standard practice? A very bad precedent, anyway.
" I refuse to answer your questions, officer, as a video recording may be given to the BBC, and excerpts broadcast."

It appears that Tommy Sheridan is going to mount an appeal. He has just been handed evidence that the police were out to get him.

I believe that Sheridan was guilty and that the jury did a good job of handling the evidence presented to them.

I also believe that;

- The police targeted him unreasonably.

- The News of the World is an organisation that considers itself above the law, and the legal establishment are quite happy with this.

- The police have a cosy relationship with the news of the World, which led to police investigation of mobile phone being very restricted. In the end Glenn Mulcaire and another were found to be guilty of charges. No one higher in the NotW was charged.
Mulcaire was called to the stand in this case, as we know from this blog, but had a sick note, so was not required to attend. How convenient is that?

So Tommy was guilty, this does not mean they weren't out to get him.

Down with Murdoch said...

If people truly "hate Murdoch" as mush as they support then, don't buy his papers, don't visit his websites, get rid the the Sky TV/Phone/Broadband. Until you do it's just... talk. Stop feeding the machine!

paw said...

Anonymous said...
Sheridan in today's NotW wearing a football shirt emblazoned with ... NotW.
December 26, 2010 12:14 PM

For goodness sake. I hope you did not buy a copy.

Lallands Peat Worrier said...

For myself, I agree with Voice of Reason above in his assessment of Hamilton's argument.
There are certainly questions to be asked about how police tapes found their way into the hands of the BBC. That is undeniably troubling. However, for what its worth, I set out a few pointed questions here for those arguing that Sheridan shouldn't have been (b) prosecuted and/or (a) investigated by the police in relation to this matter.

I do not find those arguments credible.

Anonymous said...

Det Ch Supt Malcolm Graham was quoted by the BBC as saying: "At every stage of the investigation, Lothian and Borders Police acted on the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service."

So to Paw and all the others who are (with good reason) concerned about the role of the Police, given their disgraceful conduct in the Gail Grilling/Sheridan Jnr Pocket Turnouts, the fact remains that the Police were simply acting as Agents for the Crown. When all is said and done it was the Crown who were out to get TS - not the Police.

the_voice_of_reason said...

Anonymous @1.07pm

When I am told by a number of persons whose integrity I have never had cause to doubt that the "NOTW" did not make any approach to Crown Office, and that any such approach would have been rejected, and when that accords with my personal experience of Crown Office over nearly thirty years, then i tend to accept that.

While i have been more than happy to criticise the decisions of past and present Lord Advocates in respect of what crimes should be given priority for prosecution, the fact remains that there was a clear sufficiency of evidence pointing to the commission of perjury in the defamation proof. Regardless of any opinion the NOTW or its owners mayhave, the Crown therefore should have put the matter before a jury.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:32 But that is the way wall criminal investigations are conducted - it's the Crown Office/Procurator Fiscal Service that direct the investigation, - not a lot of people know that - apparently.

Critical-eye said...

Anonymous said...
Sheridan in today's NotW wearing a football shirt emblazoned with ... NotW.
December 26, 2010 12:14 PM

Paw said...
For goodness sake. I hope you did not buy a copy.

December 26, 2010 2:10 PM

I confess, for the first time in my life, I, for one, had to buy a copy.

And if their account is accurate, the police raid on the Sheridan house was very far from the heavy-handed exercise alleged by TS. It seems he has been as careless of the truth in this, as he has in everything else.

Sceptic said...

In court no-one at any point defended that raid, I'd suggest that a person might conclude that the NOTW has been as careless of the truth in this, as they about most things.

Anonymous said...

Critical-eye. Surely the police raid was watched by nearly everybody in the U.K.?

Didn't every single news channel film it live?

James Doleman said...

Bon effort mon copain JPS. I'm afraid However have decided not to allow that particular word.

JPS said...

D'accord mon ami, substitute "collaborateurs" s'il vous plait, merci

JPS said...

Anonymous 9.12 Decembre 25.....Comment est-ce-que on dit "une collection des collaboratuers" ?

"Les SSP" peut-etre ?

CB said...

Have a care, those of you who say that perjury is better than "class collaboration"!

Remember that when the police came to pick up the communists in Russia in 1937, they were not acting as agents of the international capitalist conspiracy against the USSR; they were guided by the firm hand of the Great Leader of the International Proletariat.

That's what happens when lies are substituted for truth. Perjury is NEVER in the interest of the working class. If there must be lies, let Murdoch tell them, if he has a mind to.

Anonymous said...

I thought the video from the police regarding GS was a classic moment.
GS had said during the 2006 case that TS had been with her the whole night regarding the hotel party, yet the police had her phone records and statements from their "Real Friends" that GS had been on the phone looking for Tommy.
The police question of "If you were with him the whole night why were you calling round looking for him?" The answer was silence.

I'm sorry but no amount of conspiracy theory can cover a Gotcha like that.

Sceptic said...

" a Gotcha"

Weird then that the Crown dropped all of the charges relating to the hotel and all charges against Gail.

I must admit I enjoyed reading about that "gotcha" moment.

Peter said...

CB said...

Perjury is NEVER in the interest of the working class.

If there must be lies, let Murdoch tell them, if he has a mind to.
December 27, 2010 11:41 AM


In the Stalinist show trials that you refer to you had people turn up to court mostly forced - sometimes not.

They gave evidence for the prosecution that their neighbours (who were usually political opponents of the Stalin gang or their family members) had criticised the 5 year plan, called for the overthrow of the government etc. The there would be the main witnesses who would often perjure themselves about acts of sabotage.

Quite often the first set of witnesses would be telling the truth !

Those witnesses for the prosecution would be not be therefore be committing perjury.

However, where those witnesses right to give such truthful evidence knowing the gulag awaited their neighbours?

So there is an approach to "state truth" but also there is a defensive approach to truth as well.

As an adult sometimes you need to make that choice as a socialist you need to weigh up carefully the strategy of the state when they approach you to tell the "truth".

The state apparatus sometimes places a direct challenge on the question of "truth" upon leadership of the socialist movement and activists as they did with the SSP.

Certainly I do not claim to say that I would have passed such a test in the 30s.


Peter said...

The Truth Continued:

I do like to think I would have passed it here though as there were so many options available at so many points to the SSP Crown witnesses.

I do fully appreciate that the SSP say they had no choice.

The difficulty I have in this case is not so much with any SSP members who consider they were "dragged into court".

It is the case, however, that the SSP members who made secret video recordings (George McNeilage), produced and had knowledge of the secret affadvait given to the Herald (McCoombes/Leckie), passed in notes to the police (Barbara Scott, Kane, Leckie) acted wholly VOLUNTARILY.

Some are still in good standing in the SSP.

The further difficulty I have now is that virtually all of wider membership of the SSP members seek to portray those voluntary actions of those members as justified on the grounds that Sheridan had called them "Scabs".

Then we have the SSP members who were "forced" to appear in this case but so embellished their evidence in court with various epithets that they gave a gift to the Crown.

Unfortunately those witnesses also now join the first group and now stand outside of the ranks of the socialist movement.

The evidence in the libel trial had been more restrained and reluctant. Being generous (and for old times sake) I had more time for them at that point.

Here they seemed to have rehearsed a set of insults to throw out from the witness box at the "heretic".

In my view the blurting out of "truths" REGARDLESS of the consequences is excusable for children, the foolish, people who are mentally ill etc.

I regard it as fanciful that the United Left and the SSP leadership and leading members who appeared in court gang are at the level of children and weakminded fools.

I consider it was either a calculated approach. If not it was a bizzare frenzy of truth telling that came upon them (as in Salem).

Either way the SSP have now made it clear they see it as there duty to appear in court to repeat "truths" in service of the Crown regardless of the consequences to the accused - even jail.

Whether Sheridan was "guilty" or not is irrelevant to my final very practical point.

The SSP for as long as they are committed to their policy of ALWAYS telling the truth for the state are now effecively a state group masquerading as a party of socialism.

It is now dangerous for any trade unionist organising a picket or students organisisng a protest without police permission to discuss "truths" with the SSP.

NB: I also consider Sheridan is innocent of perjury on grounds of reasonable but that is a separate matter from the point you raised .

CB said...


It's not so much the show trials I am thinking of, but the reasons why the Bolshevik revolution turned out so badly for its makers.

They put what they imagined to be the interests of the Party and the Working Class above fidelity to simple factual truth - and ended as victims of the lie-based tyranny they had inadvertently created.

TS wanted people to commit perjury to conceal his sexual exploits and earn him £200k. They very rightly refused, and he insulted them as "scabs". Not very nice.

Of course, McNeilage's behaviour was also very unattractive.

However, refusing to abet Sheridan's perjury is one thing; going to the police to inform on protesting students is quite another. Do you have any evidence that the SSP is guilty of such a vile act?

Anonymous said...

"Weird then that the Crown dropped all of the charges relating to the hotel and all charges against Gail."

At the time I wondered what they were playing at, it became clear later: Gail was the the star witness in the defamation trial. No Gail, no victory.

Would a jury comprising 10 women find a mother guilty 2 days before Christmas in such a case?

Would Gail be able to sway the jury so convincingly again?

Lets not find out, she is pleading the fifth (as is her right) so lets just keep the charges over her head until Tommy can't call anymore witnesses.

Wee Gabrielle will have at least one parent home for Christmas and it's all down to Tommys defence witneeses so far.

And it worked.

For what it's worth I don't think appeals should be entertained full stop where a defendant has declined to face cross-examination.

Funny how you can't shut Tommy up usually.

And for all those myth peddlers otu there: Tommy went to the courts, the courts didn;t come to him. After this point your conspiracy theories are totally dead in the water.


Sceptic said...

'I don't think appeals should be entertained full stop where a defendant has declined to face cross-examination"

So much for innocent until proven guilty and the right to silence then. All worthwhile to get the hated Tommy en anon.

Critical-eye said...


There is no parallel whatsoever between this trial and the Stalinist show trials.

TS was not prosecuted for holding any socialist principle or for deny any "State truth". Nor is the fact that he is a "socialist" of any relevance - should socialists refuse to tell what they know to be the truth in Court in defence of fellow socialists?

The real parallel to this case is that of Tory peer Geoffrey Archer - exposed by the NOTW, lied in Court in a libel case and was exposed as guilty of perjury

Anonymous said...

"So much for innocent until proven guilty and the right to silence then"

Tommy had both these rights correctly afforded to him, so as you say, "so much for them"

Maybe if Tommy had explained to the jury the perfectly innocent explaination for the word 'cupids' in his handwriting in his parliamentary diary, if he had explained the totally innocent explaination for the phone records calling round the cupids participants, maybe then he wouldn't need to go to appeal.

Tommy has had his fair share of rights. I'm up hearing about enemies of socialism and state conspiracies. He was a dirty boy. A bit wreckless with it and so got caught. Chose to lie. Chose to take it to court. Chose to lie after taking an oath not to. And so the lie kept growing and here we are today.

I don't see what any of this has to do with his political beliefs.

Whatever enemies Sheridan thought he had are knotting themselves laughing at this moment. He played right into their hands at just about every chance he had.

All they had to do was sit and watch.

Acolytes: Pick another hero.

knock knock said...

"I don't think appeals should be entertained full stop where a defendant has declined to face cross-examination"

that raises an interesting point. why he didn't give evidence. if he did and said that it was not him on the tape knowing full well that it was and the expert evidence had been ruled out it would leave mr s open to further charges of perjury. it was a lose lose situation if he gave evidence. i dont know whether not giving evidence will exclude him from an appeal but i think any appeal will be a bigger mountain to climb that the one he's just tackled.

james i think one of your posters said either in this thread or another can we have another thread. it might keepp everything in one place and make it easier to continue the debate

the_voice_of_reason said...

Re: appeals

It should not matter whether the accused (can we PLEASE stop calling him "the defendant" as the trial took place in Scotland) gave evidence or not. After all, any person may appeal on the grounds of -

Evidence wrongly being excluded
Evidence wrongly being admitted
Trial judge misdirecting the jury on a matter of law

none of which would necessarily be affected by whether the accused gave evidence

knock knock said...

Voice of reason

Point taken however maybe he's not the accused anymore. I think he is referred to as convicted as will the dark blue polo he will be issued with once processed into the sps system.

Light blue denotes untried

Green denotes sex offender tried or untried.

As for his 1st night Orange sweatshirt and red joggy bottoms then issued with correct polo and denims with a velcro zip. Not metal.

And when his AGENT visits note not solicitor or lawyer that only came into effect 100 ago from England. He might be lucky to get a burgandy fleece to wear.

It ain't a fashion parade.

If Mr s appeals I doubt he will be allowed to remain at liberty pending said appeal but this trial be been full strange happenings and liberty pending appeal might be one more.

the_voice_of_reason said...

Knock knock:

He remains "the accused" or more archaically "the pannel" until conviction. If he appeals then he becomes "the appellant".

Will he be bailed pending appeal? Possibly, but not until grounds of appealhave been lodged, and only if the court is satisfied it's appropriate to grant him bail. In my experience that can take a couple of weeks, as the Crown must now be asked for their views.

Incidentally, the Society of Solicitors in the Spreme Court was formed in 1784, although the term "law agent" is of similar antiquity.

You what ? said...

"Of course, McNeilage's behaviour was also very unattractive."

"Unattractive" is a pluke right on the tip of your nose, or watching someone being sick in the street or any other millions of innocent actions that we all commit every day.

Grassing up your mate to the News of The World goes way way beyound "unattractive".

Why are some people trying to sweep the actions of McNeilage and McCombes under the carpet ?

Why can't they just admit it stank, and then ordinary people watching this train wreck might begin to have some respect for them ?

Boohoo said...

"He was a dirty boy".....

Why do all you peeps in the Wee Free SSP insist on sounding like my Sunday School teacher from 1957 ??

Grown ups have sex that you don't approve of.

Take some time away from chaining up the swings and deal with it

CB said...

You what?

"Grassing up your mate to the News of The World goes way way beyound 'unattractive'".

Indeed. It's "very unattractive" in my opinion, as I said. Both Sheridan and some of the SSP come out of this very badly.

But that doesn't exculpate TS. He was the political leader of these people for years.

And I really do want to know whether or not a politician I might otherwise vote for is a liar and perjurer.

Anonymous said...


Why didn't Tommy take a grown up attitude and just admit or deal with it?

It would have went away and that would have been that.

I don't care what he got up to, and what he got up really wasn't all that bad, but he went through the courts, despite it being true.

So dirty boy or liberated adult or whatever, the man, and his supporters, are still fools.

He committed perjury. He was investigated and tried for perjury. He was found guilty of perjury. I don't really see where the complication is.

George McNeilage? What about him? He wasn't the one on trial.

Alan McCoombes? What about him?
He wasn't the one on trial.

Show me which Socialist handbook -other than the Cardonald Branch SSP manifesto- places as crimes against the working man as telling the truth in court?

Come off it.

And I'm neither wee free or SSP.

sceptic said...

"Show me which Socialist handbook -other than the Cardonald Branch SSP manifesto- places as crimes against the working man as telling the truth in court?"

I can think of many. Grassing up someone who through a brick in a riot, telling the DSS who is dodging benefits, testifying in court who organised an illegal demonstration.

In fact I'll ask you, where in your copy of the "socialist handbook" does it say "working men" have a duty to the bosses courts rather than their own people?

James Doleman said...

Could we keep it civil please?



Anonymous said...


Which comrade, brother, socialist was it who threatened to name names after the poll tax riots?

Can you explain to me how Tommy's sex life has anything to do with the struggle of the working man or why the working man should prejure themselves for Tommy in the name of socialism when really it's about a personal matter?

Tommy took this to the courts.
His call.

Open your eyes said...

One curiousity of this case is that in spite of Lothian & Borders police spending 18 months and £1.5 million they were unable to come up with any new corroborating evidence, apart from verbatim notes of Tommy's alleged confession, which were found at the bottom of Barbara Scott's handbag and the alleged filmed confession, which was created by the professional actor George McNeilage, who was also paid £200,000 for that creation.

Of course, the reason the police could find no corroborating evidence is simple, there was none to be found, as Tommy Sheridan is innocent.

I suspect, if the police, who at every stage of the investigation were directed by the Crown prosecution, had searched for corroborating evidence of his testimony, they would have found it by the bucket-load.

The jury was presented with confusing and conflicting testimonies from the witnesses, but because Tommy Sheridan was the only one accused of perjury by the Crown, even though he is innocent, there was a biase in the whole proceedings. The jury would assumed that the police had carried out an impartial investigation. But, we now suspect that the Crown prevented them from doing so. The jury, being naive and confused, would naturally side with the Crown and convict Mr Sheriden.

The whole affair stinks to high heaven and anyone that denies it is extremely impartial.

Det Ch Supt Malcolm Graham was quoted by the BBC as saying: "At every stage of the investigation, Lothian and Borders Police acted on the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service."

Anonymous said...

Yes, Spectic. Brave brothers and sisters who were sent to prison for their valiant behaviour to defend woman and children from Thatcher's Strormtroopers - dragged from their wives and children.

Anonymous said...

"At every stage of the investigation, Lothian and Borders Police acted on the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service." - like they do in EVERY criminal investigation.

Anonymous said...

And what of it?

Unlike a cold criminal investigation this was into a previous court case.

Who else would have had the information needed to pursue the investigation.

Your conspiracy theory falls down very early on I'm afraid.

Tommy instigated the defamation action. Tommy lied.

Conspiracy ends.

A jury preferred the crowns evidence in this case, and whether you - being entirley impartial of course - agree or not, you are going to have to get used to it.

All this rhetoric and posturing isn't going to get you anywhere.

Actor or not, I think it's pretty obvious the recording was released because of Tommys vindictive SCAB newpaper article.

Nobody comes up smelling of roses, but at the end of the day, it was Tommy who took the fight to them.

knock knock said...

Voice of reason

Point taken I don't suppose your a retired professor of law by any chance.

Anonymous said...

open your eyes,

so, no new evidence apart from a tape of the accused admitting his guilt? astonishing they got a conviction.

the_voice_of_reason said...

knock knock:

Neither retired, nor a professor, just a humble toiler in the higher courts whose random scribblings occasionally make their way into print.

Anonymous said...

"so, no new evidence apart from a tape of the accused admitting his guilt? astonishing they got a conviction."

Was Anvar Khans neighbour led at the defamtion trail? Was Katrine Trolles flatmates? Gary Clark?

The Sheridanistas are going to have a lot of years in the wilderness, I'd find a new way to pass the time.
He might still be god to his devoted band of merry men, the rest of us are wise to him, those of us who spent chunks of their lives in Pollok were wise to him anyway.

The way you talk about new evidence you'd think it was an appeal or a retrial, it was neither.

Anonymous said...


I was being sarky about the new evidence. A tape of the man confessing is remarkable evidence.

Peter said...

Critical Eye,

You and the SSP say, as if it is a proven fact, that Sheridan asked the SSP executive "to commit perjury for him" in the 2006 libel trial.

Sheridan (and others) always said he did not. So where does the law rest on this matter?

The plain fact of the matter is that he is innocent.

Despite you and the SSP alleging this only one charge was brought on that matter in this perjury trial and that single charge was not upheld.

You should also note that in the libel trial the SSP/United Left also testified and produced articles that Tommy had asked the party to lie for him.

You will note that in the libel trial (from what we can gather) the majority of the jury did not agree with you or the SSP/United Left on this matter. I say that as the jury upheld Tommy's libel action.

In this trial James has handily put up the original charges; the numerous charges deleted by the Crown; the charges deleted by the jury; and the 5 "proven" charges.

You will find when you read that those documents that the Crown only brought one charge on this particular matter.

The single charge the Crown brought on that matter was based solely on an allegation made by Colin Fox - the SSP joint leader. As I understand it Colin's statement was given voluntarily to the police after the libel trial - he was not coerced.

Colin alleged that Tommy had met him at the (now infamous) Beanscene cafe in Edinburgh in 2006 and had attempted to suborn Colin to lie for him at the 2006 libel trial.

The Crown decided not to go ahead with that indictment after hearing Colin's evidence for the Crown BEFORE even hearing from the defence!

That is uncomfortable no doubt for Colin and the SSP but it is what happened.

Why do you, Colin, the United Left and other SSP members continue to bring this particular allegation of subornation when there is no legal basis for it?

I say "allegation" for that is all it is.

Readers will note the United Left/SSP lined up to give evidence on this matter and produced articles in their press to say that Tommy was guilty of it.

Tommy is, however, in the eyes of the law innocent of this charge.

The SSP do not like that but it is true. What proof do either you or the SSP have for it?

The Crown did not find any after 4 years of investigation. I suggest you and the SSP stop trying to outdo the Crown.



Whatsy said...

Re: The Colin Fox/Beanscene charge:
"The Crown decided not to go ahead with that indictment after hearing Colin's evidence for the Crown BEFORE even hearing from the defence!

That is uncomfortable no doubt for Colin and the SSP but it is what happened.

I think it's only fair to point out, as you have apparently forgotten to do, that this charge was dropped due to lack of corroboration. Prentice was very explicit in stating that Mr Fox's testimony, both this part and the rest, should not be assumed to be any less credible or reliable as a result.

Of course, the Advocate Depute would say that, wouldn't he, but nonetheless, the charges were dropped for a reason different to the one you seem to be insinuating.

Critical-eye said...


In none of my postings have I claimed that TS asked the SSP executive to commit perjury for him.

Neither, I believe, has any member of the executive testified that TS asked the executive to commit perjury.

The only person that he is alleged to have asked to commit perjury for him is Colin Fox - on which see Whatsy's post above.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.44

Apologies. Misunderstood your intonation.

Peter said...

Hello Whatsy 7.00pm,

It is round two on this corroboration debate it seems - but you still need to set your alarm earlier :)

If you are correct, (ie. the Beanscene subornation matter was dropped by the Crown solely due to a lack of corroboration) then we are left with a possibly disturbing situation.

Are you insinuating that the Crown deliberately pursued an allegation it knew could not be upheld.

To misquote from Captain Rene I am shocked - shocked I tell you.

Seriously though think it through.

a) The Crown already knew it was an uncorroborated charge.

b) The Crown always knew that they could only call one witness (Foxy) to say Sheridan was allegedly present at the Beanscene.

c) The Crown always knew it could only be calling Fox to give evidence on what was allegedly said at the Beanscene as he was the only one allegedly their other than Tommy.

So why did the Crown go ahead with the uncorroborated charge?

Prentice was not waiting for Sheridan to take the stand. The Crown deleted this charge before Sheridan announced he was not going to take the stand.

Are you insinuating that perhaps the charge was inserted with he others to build a "no smoke without fire" atmosphere in the court.

If what you may be insinuating is the case (and what you insinuate may well be the case)then I suggest this subornation charge falls into the same debate as Gail Sheridan charges.

Let's look at the possible method.


Peter said...

Corroboration and Alleged Subornment Issue Cont:

So let's look at the possible method of the Crown Whatsy.


Satire Starts:

Step 1: Present a lot of old guff (that you know is legally unenforceable and would be overturned on appeal if indeed it was even allowed by the judge to reach the jury) to make the Crown case look more substantial than it actually is to the jury.

Step 2: At some point of your own choosing preferably after the allegations has been aired and the damage done to the Defence you simply drop the charges.

Step 3: After dropping various charges claim that the witnesses are still valid; take the moral high ground by releasing Gail to her family; and claim you are helping the jury to "focus" on the strongest charges.

Step 4: Take a deep breath and keep a straight face when deleting your own charges.

Step 5: Cross your fingers and hope the jury consider that what is left of your charges must be the strongest and must therefore be more likely to be true.

You are a cynical guy(ess) Whatsy if you are insinuating that Prentice would indulge in such sharp pracice and pursue uncorroborated charges in this way.

Satire Ends:

Satire apart (and I hope that is still allowed here) it is reasonable to be concerned if the Crown has sought to create the idea of grand criminal enterprise by this method of inserting extra charges.

In reality what was left was quite slim pickings for the jury to give a guilty verdict on compared to the start of the trial anyway - so maybe you are on to something Whatsy. Well done.

Pursuance by the Crown of a range of uncorroborated charges (prior to deletion) to influence the jury may well come up in any appeal against the safety of this verdict - or it may well not.

Having read the guidance to Crown Prosecutors I suggest such "sharp practice" would be a clear breach the prosecutors Code of Practice in England and Wales (God knows what is going on up in Scotland).

Whether such a breach is a possible/good ground of appeal or not we will see. I am researching and have a little list going.

Equally it could be (as I insinuated earlier) that Colin's evidence of a supposed subornation attempt was just not going to fly. It just did not tally up to me - corroboration or not.

The prosecution maybe realised during the cross examination that Coline was just not up to snuff and thought they had better drop it.

Either way:

- Sheridan is wholly Innocent of the allegation of subornation that the SSP executive, Colin, the United Left and others on this august blog repeatedly level at him.

- When the SSP/United Left and other posters pop up here and state blithely that Tommy asked them to perjure themselves we can be confident that there is no simply no legal basis to support what they say.

- It is important that these baseless allegators (new word) and their baseless allegations about subornation are nailed down before they get their pumps on and go for a New Years resolution jog around the park.

I'll keep an eye on them for you.



Whatsy said...

Could you skip the Method if I say yes to the "no smoke without fire thing"?

Peter said...

:42 PM
Blogger Whatsy said...

Could you skip the Method if I say yes to the "no smoke without fire thing"?

December 28, 2010 9:47 PM

No chance Whatsy - I have written it already - but I suspect you knew that :)


iain brown said...

sorry "Critical Eye", you are technically/legally? correct re. the dropping of the alleged attempt by TS to subborn the (Wilely?) Fox. This part of the indictment was vacated on the lack of "corrobaration" (and rightly so IMHO),As i have previously posted to the"hang him,damn him,whatever the evidence ,or more accurately,lack of same,)Is just one more example of his guilt,that simply could not stand up in Court. So TS,is still guilty as charged regardless.Sorry,there was no corroboration(as indeed there wasnt about much else of his conviction),but i stand by my earlier posts(and i stand to be corrected(,that TS admitted asking Fox not to support an(in his opinion) "incorrect minute which (TS ,in his opinion) was"drafted in such a way as to "frame" him".Not quite the same thing as endeavouring Foxy to commit perjury on his behalf.Forget lack of corroboration. This was never going to pass serious scrutiny hence its removal from the original indictment sheet.But that is as they used to say"is a mere baggatel!"Dont let facts get in the way of a good story,right enough.

Whatsy said...

Thanks for pointing out where your satire started and ended, as I would otherwise definitely have mistaken it for your unadorned opinion.

As I understand it, dropping of some or many charges as the trial progresses is very common. It often confuses the casual or ill-informed observer, but is fairly standard, and is something juries are made aware of before retiring to consider their verdict, as was the jury in this trial.

Again, I'd be indebted to anyone with a bit of relevant experience in this matter to offer their take on this, as I have none.

iain brown said...

Hello "Peter"re. your post Dec 28,9:46 pm.Maximum respect(as always )to your posts,and apols .for the rather belated response.Must have been due to eating far too much of my partners excellent Sherry trifles.Apols. for once ,being up earlier than your goodself.You mention the "allegators",(new word?) in your piece.There is a famous true/joke?, Dundee legend about the long closed Caledon shipyard,a bastion of the Communist Party locally. A renowned CP union convenor said/allegedly?said at a mass meeting."Their are those within our ranks making(false) allegations about me. When i find out who these "alligators" are they will stand to account. Still a favourite anecdote in my circles.Thanks for bringing this back to mind.