Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tommy Sheridan's Summation Part 5: The Forensics issue

After the section of his summation on the role Mr Sheridan claimed the News of the World had played in the case, Mr Sheridan turned to the question of his diaries, which have been a much viewed set of exhibits in this case. Speaking to the jury Mr Sheridan said "my diaries, I would suggest to you have fatally undermined the Crown case and form a basis for you to find me not guilty."

 Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that he had no access to his diaries since 2007 and that they were "unaltered and untampered." Mr Sheridan continued that his diaries "don't rant and rave from the witness box" and do not "spew bile." Instead, Mr Sheridan suggested the diary entries "establish as reasonable doubt." Mr Sheridan then stated that the Crown case against him, "after four years and two million pounds" was "not only weak, it was verging on the pathetic." He then asked the jury if they might like to consider "where is the forensic evidence?"
Mr Sheridan suggested  to the jury that a scientific piece of evidence was "not tarnished" and gave the example f the handwritten notes presented to the court as being a "contemporaneousness note" made by Barbara Scott of the pivotal 9/11/04 SSP executive meeting. Mr Sheridan stated "I say this is a lie, the Crown say not. I say, where is the forensic report? the handwriting analysis? there is none," adding that the jury "may wish to consider why."

Mr Sheridan then turned to the mobile phone records, which have been another key feature of the trial.  He asked the jury to consider that the Advocate Depute had used these in his summation to "suggest  there was a pattern emerging." Mr Sheridan asked "where is the forensic phone report" asking the jury to recall that there had been only one "independent" forensic report on a mobile phone presented to them, and it "came from the defence" Mr Sheridan then reminded the jury that during the evidence of Ian Campbell the defence had presented a report that showed texts from from the witness to Jock Penman, adding "we read them out."

Mr Sheridan the asked the jury to consider, "where are the text messages between me and Anvar Khan? where are the text messages between me and Katrine Trolle? Where are the text messages between me and George McNeilage? Mr Sheridan said these "lack of reports undermine any suggestion, or dare I use the word speculation" from the Advocate Depute. Mr Sheridan continued there was "not one text, not one phone report' and that "The Advocate Depute has told you not to speculate, then speculated."

Mr Sheridan gave as an example of this "speculation" the Advocate Deputes statement, in his summation, that Mr Sheridan had called Gary Clark and Katrine Trolle. Mr Sheridan asked the jury to recall that when questioned neither witness had recalled it, stating that it "was so significant no-one remembers." Mr Sheridan stated that the jury had "been invited to read something" from these calls and therefore he was going to invite them to speculate."

Mr Sheridan then had his mobile phone records for 9/11/04 displayed on the screens placed around the packed courtroom. He said that this record showed that his first call after the executive meeting had not been to Gary Clark, but to his voicemail service, a call that had lasted for 2 minutes and 54 seconds. Mr Sheridan had then "phoned my mum" then next "his sister" and only then had called Gary Clark. Mr Sheridan said to the jury, regarding his call to his voicemail that  "I would invite you to consider it common knowledge and be allowed to suggest  that I might be calling back people who called me?"

Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to also consider that they had been shown none of the text messages, the prosecution has claimed,  between him and George McNeilage. Mr Sheridan said to the jury "you may think that the resources of the Crown can get access to to information to information not available to us mere mortals" 

Mr Sheridan then turned to the issue of the "McNeilage tape" and this will be the subject of our next report.

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