As Mr Lavell, in place of the absent Paul McBride QC, counsel for the second accused Mrs Gail Sheridan, declined to examine the witness, the Advocate Depute Alex Prentice QC then rose and took to the lectern.
Mr Prentice began by asking the witness whether she lectured students about dealing with the police. Miss Sheridan replied that she did, and that she had a good relationship with the police, particularly Strathclyde Police.
Mr Prentice then asked about the witness's relationship with Dr McKerrell, to which the witness replied “We don't socialise at all”. The Advocate Depute probed that they were colleagues at the same university, but Miss Sheridan responded that they were in different departments. Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that, as the accounts of the same meeting offered by the witness and Dr McKerrell differed greatly, one of them must be lying, and that there was no room for compromise on this. The witness replied “No”.
Mr Prentice then moved on to the journey to Edinburgh that Miss Sheridan had recounted in her earlier testimony, stating that the witness had given lots of detail. The witness responded that she remembered it in detail, as on the way home from Edinburgh she had been involved in a car crash, and that there would be an official record of this as it had involved another car.
Mr Prentice then asked the witness about Mr Sheridan's relationship with Mr Fox, putting it to her that, at the time it was a working relationship, to which the witness agreed, and that it was a good relationship, to which the witness stated she could not comment. Mr Prentice then put it to the witness that, regarding the differing accounts of the alleged meeting in BeanScene given by Mr Fox and the first accused Mr Sheridan, one of them must be lying, putting it to the witness that there is no room for compromise. The witness again responded “No”.
Mr Prentice then asked whether the witness had watched the film (the “McNeilage Tape”), which she agreed she had, once. Mr Prentice then put it to the witness “Your position is that is not your brother Tommy Sheridan?”, to which Miss Sheridan replied “Not at all. People who don't know him intimately might think so.”
Mr Prentice then referred to the tape transcript and a section that read “On the Tuesday night, when I was out at Lynn and Carol’s, they were fucking on at me about ‘you better no’ be doing this all again, you’re going to leave Gail with this wean, this is your wean’ blah blah.”, then asked about the family meeting in Bellshill where the scan of the co-accused's unborn baby was shown to family members, and whether such a meeting took place. Miss Sheridan replied that it had taken place, but as it was in Carol's house, it should have read “Carol & Lynn” rather than “Lynn & Carol”.
Mr Prentice then asked “what about Mr McFarlane – was he there?”, and Miss Sheridan replied “No. Not to my knowledge.”
Mr Prentice then asked – if Miss Sheridan & Carol were included in the “McNeilage Tape” transcript, the witness was saying that someone would have had to write this, and by including Miss Sheridan and her sister, this could be checked by asking you about that meeting? The witness replied “Yes – as you are doing now”. Mr Prentice asked the witness to clarify that this family meeting took place on the 9th November 2004, after Tommy Sheridan had attended a SSP meeting, and the witness confirmed it was.
Mr Prentice then asked the witness about why she had not given a police statement. Miss Sheridan replied that this was due to the trauma caused to her niece during the dawn raid on the Sheridan's house, but that she had told the police, once they had come to her door, having originally turned up at her previous address, that she had been happy to speak to the Procurator Fiscal's office, but that nobody from the Crown had subsequently contacted her. Mr Prentice then asked whether Miss Sheridan had been unwilling to give a statement beforehand when Detective Houliston had phoned her. Miss Sheridan questioned the use of the word “beforehand”, Mr Prentice clarified “Beforehand – before appearing in court”, and the witness answered “Yes”.
Mr Prentice then asked the witness whether she was saying that the voice on the tape sounds nothing like Mr Sheridan. Miss Sheridan replied that it was a “cheap imitation”.
Mr Prentice stated he had no more questions and returned to his seat.
Mr Sheridan then rose, left the dock and returned to the lectern next to the jury to re-examine the witness. First, he asked the witness about her relationship with the police, and she stated she had a close relationship with them, and that some of them had come to her leaving do before she moved to Derbyshire. Mr Sheridan put it to the witness that she had “No reason to be hostile to the police” and she replied “No”. Mr Sheridan then asked the witness about the effect the police raid had on her niece, and she stated that from her professional experience she knew how traumatic such an experience could be for a child, that the police had arrived in “flak jackets and tackety boots”, and that the officers involved in the raid had refused her entry to see her niece, and that neither her, her sister or Gail's sister had been allowed to go to the door of the Sheridan's home during the raid.
Mr Sheridan ended his re-examination, returned to the dock, and the presiding judge, Lord Bracadale, thanked Miss Sheridan and informed her she was free to go.