Glasgow & West Scotland

Timeline: Sheridan trial week seven

NOVEMBER 15-19

Former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan, 46, is on trial accused of perjury.

His wife Gail, 46, also faced perjury charges which have now been dropped.

It is claimed Mr Sheridan lied in court so that he could successfully sue the News of the World in 2006.

The former MSP won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed allegations about his private life, claiming that he was an adulterer who had visited a swingers club.

Following a police investigation, Mr Sheridan was charged with perjury. He denies the allegations.

Here, is a summary of the seventh week of evidence

Return to launch page

DAY TWENTY-SIX (15 Nov)

The editor of the Scottish News of the World has denied being part of an "illegal culture of phone-tapping".

Bob Bird, 54, told the High Court in Glasgow that none of his staff had instructed a private investigator to tap former MSP Tommy Sheridan's phone.

Mr Bird made the comments while giving evidence for the second day at the court, where Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail are accused of perjury.

Cross examining the editor, Mr Sheridan, who is defending himself, said: "Ten years ago you were at the heart of Wapping."

He added: "You were part of the illegal culture of phone tapping that has been widely criticised."

Mr Bird replied: "No, I was not."

Editor denies phone-tap 'culture'

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN (16 Nov)

The Tommy Sheridan perjury trial was adjourned for a short time on Tuesday after the former MSP broke down while questioning a witness.

Mr Sheridan became emotional while referring to his wife Gail during exchanges with Bob Bird, the Scottish editor of the News of the World.

Mr Bird, 54, was giving evidence for a third day at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sheridan breaks down during trial

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT (17 Nov)

The Tommy Sheridan perjury trial has been told the former MSP was warned by a "psychic" agony aunt that he was under "round the clock" surveillance.

The jury was shown an e-mail to Mr Sheridan from Yasmin Urquhart, who wrote for the News of the World under the name "Ruth the Truth".

In it she claimed the politician was being monitored by the newspaper.

Under cross-examination from Mr Sheridan, who is defending himself, Mr Bird said he could not explain the e-mail from Ms Urquhart.

Gail and Tommy Sheridan deny perjury The 54-year-old said, however, that as a psychic agony aunt "Ruth the Truth" quite often got predictions wrong.

Sheridan sent 'psychic warning'

DAY TWENTY-NINE (18 Nov)

A one-time friend of Tommy Sheridan has told a perjury trial the former MSP visited a swingers club because he had a "weakness of the flesh".

Dr Nicholas McKerrell also told the High Court in Glasgow he thought Mr Sheridan was "reckless" taking legal action against the News of the World.

Glasgow Caledonian University lecturer, Dr McKerrell, said he had known Mr Sheridan since the age of 16, and had joined the SSP in 1998, when it was founded.

The 40-year-old said Mr Sheridan had discussed allegations printed in the News of the World with him before a hustings meeting at the university.

The trial also heard from Pamela Tucker, who became the fifth person to say they had seen Mr Sheridan at Cupid's.

Ms Tucker said she recognised the former politician because "of what he did with the poll tax".

Sheridan 'admitted to weakness'

DAY THIRTY (19 Nov)

The Tommy Sheridan perjury trial has been told that the former MSP admitted to a friend that he attended a sex party at a Glasgow hotel.

The politician's former election agent, Keith Baldassara, said Mr Sheridan told him he had attended but not taken part in the event, which included group sex.

SSP member Mr Baldassara told the court of a meeting he had with Mr Sheridan at Glasgow City Chambers, at which he raised the issue of the alleged event at the hotel.

Their discussion was said to have happened in the days after the Glasgow wedding of Gail Sheridan's younger sister to Andrew McFarlane.

The court was adjourned until Wednesday 24 November to allow Mr Sheridan time to prepare for a "new chapter" of evidence.

Sheridan 'was at hotel sex party'