Glasgow & West Scotland

Tommy Sheridan perjury trial verdict expected

Tommy Sheridan
Image caption Tommy Sheridan is accused of lying in court during an earlier case

The jury in the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow is considering its verdict.

Mr Sheridan, an ex-member of the Scottish Parliament and former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, faces six allegations of lying in court.

The 46-year-old denies lying during his successful defamation case against the News of the World in 2006.

He won £200,000 after the newspaper printed allegations he had committed adultery and visited a swingers' club.

After the court action, Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail, who is also 46, were charged with perjury.

The charges against Mrs Sheridan were withdrawn by the Crown last week and she was acquitted.

During a trial lasting two-and-a-half months, the number of perjury allegations against Mr Sheridan has been reduced by the prosecution from 18 to six.

Mr Sheridan, who has been conducting his own defence, began his five-hour speech to the jury on Tuesday afternoon and finished shortly before lunchtime on Wednesday.

Jurors spent almost two hours considering their verdict before being sent home for the night. They resumed their deliberations on Thursday morning.

The trial heard from more than a dozen witnesses who said Mr Sheridan admitted, at a meeting of the SSP on 9 November 2004, visiting a sex club.

Mr Sheridan accused his former colleagues in the SSP of "spewing bile" against him as part of a "political civil war" within the party.

He also said the bosses at the News of the World had tried to destroy him and accused the police of pursuing a "vendetta" against him.

The judge instructed the 12 women and two men on the jury that this was "not a political court" and urged them not to "judge people on their politics".

He added: "It is not your function to judge the sexual morality of anyone involved in this case."

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