Glasgow & West Scotland

Sheridan told plot to get him was 'in his own mind'

Tommy Sheridan and Katrine Trolle
Image caption Mr Sheridan has been cross-examining ex-colleague, Ms Trolle

A plot to "bring down" former Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) leader Tommy Sheridan "existed mostly in his mind", a court has been told.

The claim was made by ex-colleague Katrine Trolle under questioning from Mr Sheridan who is conducting his own defence at the High Court in Glasgow.

The former MSP and his wife Gail, both 46, are on trial for perjury.

They deny lying during his successful defamation case against the News of the World newspaper in 2006.

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

After a police investigation, Mr and Mrs Sheridan were charged with perjury.

Ms Trolle previously told the trial she slept with Mr Sheridan on a number of occasions after meeting him on the SSP campaign trail in Glasgow in 2000.

The 36-year-old, who has travelled from Denmark to give evidence at the trial, said she had told police that Mr Sheridan had telephoned her and said party members were "out to get him".

She added that she was unable to remember the phone conversation with him despite reporting it.

Of the alleged claims of an SSP plot mentioned in the phone call, she told Mr Sheridan: "I think it was mostly in your mind."

Mr Sheridan accused Ms Trolle of collaborating with other SSP members, including Allison Kane, who has already given evidence to the trial.

'Armed uprising'

She told the court she heard Sheridan admit he had been to Cupid's club in Manchester on two occasions during an emergency meeting of the party's executive on 9 November 2004.

Ms Trolle said she was good friends with Ms Kane but would never "lie in court for her".

Mr Sheridan said: "If Allison Kane and others wanted you to support their plot to bring me down, even including lying in court, would you support them?"

Ms Trolle replied: "No."

Mr Sheridan also showed the court an article printed by the News of the World on 14 November 2004, with the headline: "Tommy is Finished".

It quoted the party's regional organiser for the north of Scotland, Duncan Rowan, as saying that people had been "lining up for him in the party for years".

Ms Trolle said the article implied that Mr Rowan "thought people wanted to do you in".

She added: "But Duncan also thought there was going to be an armed uprising in Scotland for Scottish independence. I wouldn't put too much into this. He saw enemies in his own shadow."

Ms Trolle also told the jury she was left "disappointed and probably also a bit angry" when Sheridan won his action against the News of the World.

During questioning on Wednesday, Ms Trolle was branded a "conscious liar" by Mr Sheridan, who accused her of concocting "fiction" and "fabrication" about their alleged affair.

On Thursday he questioned her about possible discrepancies in evidence she had given under oath during the trial.

Ms Trolle said she accepted that she had made a series of mistakes and discrepancies, but was not lying to the court.

"There is only one person lying in court and it is you," she told Mr Sheridan.

"You can call me guilty of getting my facts wrong, of being naive and silly.

"I'm guilty of thinking you had charisma and I'm guilty of having sex with you. Yes, I'm guilty of all these things, but I'm not guilty of lying in court."

Underwear e-mail

Mr Sheridan also produced a series of e-mails between Ms Trolle and Grant Wilson of Lothian and Borders Police. Some were entitled: "re: my underwear!"

One, sent in November 2007, thanked him for bringing her "coffee and muffins", adding that it had been "good" to see him.

She also notified him of her intention to spend a year travelling and gain her diving licence. The court had already heard they were on first-name terms.

Mr Sheridan asked her if the tone of the e-mails was "inappropriate".

She said they were "perhaps unprofessional", adding: "I was not being a professional person. I was just being me."

Ms Trolle also told the trial that a lawyer representing Mr Sheridan had twice "implied" she did not have to attend court in Scotland to testify.

Ryan Sloan, who works for Mr Sheridan's solicitor, Aamer Anwar, visited Ms Trolle in Denmark towards the end of 2009 to interview her ahead of the trial.

Ms Trolle said he told her that it was "up to me if I wanted to attend".

The witness said she wrote to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service telling them about the meeting.

The trial was shown an email from Ms Trolle to the COPFS dated 1 September 2009. In it, she described Mr Sloan as "a young guy with a dead fish for a handshake".

Image caption Mrs Sheridan is also accused of perjury

It read: "Ts'(sic) lawyer was here yesterday, he told me the court case has been moved to 2nd October 2010, is that right?

"If so, I would really like to be informed as I am sure you'll appreciate, I have travel arrangements to make.

"He also implied I don't have to come across to the trial, he said twice it was up to me if I want to attend! Is that right, and is he allowed to say such things? I mean he has an interest in my not attending, obviously."

Her message prompted the area Procurator Fiscal for Edinburgh to write to Mr Sloan warning him that his action "could be construed as interference with a witness".

Mr Sheridan said it was a "very, very serious allegation" and accused her of making it up.

He said: "This is just yet another one of your very cunning and devious lies.

"You don't care who you hurt or who you destroy."

Denies charges

Under re-examination by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, she said: "I can't remember how it came about but it was obviously during the interview.

"I just wanted to be kept informed. I don't have much knowledge of British court proceedings."

It is alleged that Mr Sheridan made false statements as a witness in his defamation action against the News of the World on 21 July 2006.

He also denies another charge of attempting to persuade a witness to commit perjury shortly before the 23-day legal action got under way.

Mrs Sheridan denies making false statements on 31 July 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The trial is due to last between two and three months and is expected to become the longest perjury case in Scottish legal history.

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