Thursday, December 16, 2010

June Hill

The third witness on Thursday, 16th December, was June Hill.

Mr Sheridan first established some personal information with the witness - that she is 50 years old, married, from Giffnock, has been a nurse for 35 years, and has known Tommy Sheridan for 40 years as his sister is her best friend.

Mr Sheridan started by asking Mrs Hill if she had ever given evidence before, and she replied that she had done so once.

Mr Sheridan then asked whether she had provided his legal team with a precognition statement some months before, and if so, where - the witness confirmed that she had done so at Carlton Place [Note: location of Aamer Anwar & Co Solicitors].

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness if she had become aware of a recording purporting to be of Tommy Sheridan admitting to visiting a sex club, and the witness agreed that she had in October 2006. Mr Sheridan asked if she had watched the tape, which the witness stated she had, and that she had watched it on the internet.

Mr Sheridan then played a clip of the “McNeilage Tape”, then asked the witness if that was the tape she saw. The witness replied “No, I really listened but couldn't see anything”.

Mr Sheridan then asked “Four Crown witnesses say that's me on the tape – what do you say?”, and the witness replied “That's not your voice”.

Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that she had approached his sister to offer to give evidence, and the witness agreed with this.

Mr Sheridan then asked the witness “Is it the case that you have told the truth today?”, and Mrs Hill replied “Yes I have”.

Mr Sheridan then thanked the witness, asked her to stay in the witness box in case the Advocate Depute had questions for her, and returned to his seat in the dock next to his wife, the co-accused, Mrs Gail Sheridan.

Mr Lavell, in place of Mr Paul McBride QC, acting for the second accused Mrs Gail Sheridan, declined to examine the witness, and then David Nicolson rose and made his second appearance at the lectern to begin the cross-examination.

After a short pause, Mr Nicolson began by asking Mrs Hill when it was that she had approached Mr Sheridan's sister, with the witness replying that it was just after she had seen the tape in 2006, and that she had seen it around six times on the internet and TV.

Mr Nicolson then asked the witness about her earlier comment when she said that the voice on the tape was not Mr Sheridan's, and the witness responded “Nothing like him. Not remotely like him”.

Mr Nicolson then asked about Mrs Hill being contacted by Detective Houliston, seeking a statement. The witness responded that she had been told by the detective that she didn't have to provide one, had consulted her husband, and had not given a statement. Mr Nicolson then asked why the witness had not provided a statement, and she replied as she had already given a statement to Mr Sheridan's lawyer, she thought that would be OK.

Mr Nicolson began to question the witness on evidence given by Gail Sheridan in the 2006 defamation trial, to which Mr Sheridan objected on the grounds that this subject had not previously been led in evidence. Lord Bracadale said to Mr Nicolson that if he intended to pursue this line of questioning they would need to discuss it outwith the presence of the jury, and after a brief pause, Mr Nicolson stated he would not pursue this line and returned to his seat.

Mr Sheridan declined to re-examine the witness, so Lord Bracadale thanked Mrs Hill and informed her she was free to go, and the court rose for lunch.


Steve said...

A little inconclusive either way, I'd have said.

Whatsy said...

Difficult to portray quite how many pauses there were in Mr Nicolson's cross-exam, but there were lots, with funny looks at the witness chucked in for free.