Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Tommy Sheridan's Summation Part 1: Introduction.
NB as with yesterdays summation by the Advocate Depute we will, for reasons of space, be splitting our report into separate sections.
There was not a seat to be had in court number four at the High Court of Glasgow when Tommy Sheridan rose, just after 12 noon, to address the address the jury. Speaking from the dock, unlike the Advocate Depute who spoke from a lectern in front of the jury, Mr Sheridan began by apologising in advance to the jury about about "what will be a lengthy and time consuming summation speech." Mr Sheridan then told the jury "I hope you understand but my life is at stake" and added that he had a "wee girl and a loving wife at home" and that "if you decide to convict me I will be separated from them for a considerable time." Mr Sheridan stated that his aim was "to do that I can to convince you that there are far too many reasonable doubts on the six remaining charges" for the jury to convict him.
Mr Sheridan then reminded the jury that the Advocate Depute had, in his summing up yesterday to "think about Barbara Scott" adding "I hope you did" Mr Sheridan said that yesterday the Advocate Depute had "posed a question," why had Barbara Scott handed in her notes to the police if she knew they were a fabrication. Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that they may like to ask themselves if this was motivated by "indignation" and a desire to clear her name why had she "invited the press and television along" However he also said there was a "more fundamental question relating to Ms Scott and this was "not why she handed in the notes when she did" but "why did she not take them out of her handbag in the first place."
Mr Sheridan asked the jury to recall that in Ms Scott's testimony to the court she had said she had her notes in her handbag during her evidence at the 2006 civil trial and that she had "told that to the police." He then recalled Ms Scott's cross-examination of Ms Scott by Paul McBride QC where he had asked her about her statement to the police and then produced that statement which made no mention of notes being in her handbag. Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that Ms Scott had "accepted that she was wrong" and that the jury might conclude that "Barbara Scott had "lied" to them about that point and that it was his submission that she had.
Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that this was "not the only lie" told in evidence by Barbara Scott, and asked the jury to recall her evidence about a car journey where she had claimed that a discussion about minutes had taken place between her and Catriona Grant. Mr Sheridan recalled that there were six people in the car and that four of them had testified this discussion had not taken place, Mr Sheridan suggested to the jury that this was "another lie from Barbara Scott." and also a lie "from Catriona Grant."
Mr Sheridan then quoted the first line in Advocate Depute's summation "you could hear a pin drop," and pointed out that four Crown witnesses had used this exact phrase in relation to the 9th November Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) executive meeting. Mr Sheridan recalled that one of the witnesses who had said that was Alison Kane, who appeared to have the "remarkable skill of knowing when people are not at places" noting that it was usual to remember who was at an event, as you saw them, rather than who was not. Mr Sheridan reminded the jury that Alison Kane had told this court that she had known Katrine Trolle was not at the Perth Conference as "they counted the money together" and had also stated that "she had told the police that." Mr Sheridan invited the jury to recall Ms Kane's cross-examination when, according to statements produced in court, it was "shown" that "she told the police no such thing" and asked the jury to consider if this was "a lie from Alison Kane."
Mr Sheridan then told the jury that it was his submission that "this underlines the essential problem the Crown has. The problem is it seeks to rely on liars." Mr Sheridan then asked the jury to consider that the prosecution witnesses "lacked credibility or reliability" Mr Sheridan them moved on to the subject of the police investigation of the case, which will be the subject of our next report.
Posted by James Doleman at 5:49 PM