Glasgow & West Scotland

Final appeal over Tommy Sheridan defamation ruling appeal

Tommy Sheridan
Image caption Tommy Sheridan won the defamation case in 2006 but was later found guilty of perjury

The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a newspaper group trying to overturn the verdict that saw Tommy Sheridan awarded £200,000 in damages.

The former MSP won a defamation case against the now defunct News of The World in 2006.

The paper's owner, News Group, wanted that ruling "struck down" following Mr Sheridan's 2010 conviction for perjury.

However, the Supreme Court said they had failed to "raise an arguable point of law of general public importance".

It follows a case heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year, where News Group attempted to seek permission to have the original trial rerun. That was rejected in November.

'Stream of lies'

The company then appealed to the Supreme Court, which has also declined to hear the case, meaning the Edinburgh judgement stands.

In a statement, the court said: "The Court ordered that permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance, which ought to be considered at this time, bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal".

The judgement finally brings to an end an 11-year legal process, which began when the newspaper published articles about Mr Sheridan's private life.

Following the judgement, Tommy Sheridan condemned the publishers of the News of the World for their coverage of him as well as the paper's attempts to have the defamation action overturned.

He also paid tribute to his legal team and family for their support during the case, saying: "I also want to thank my QC Donald Findlay and my political comrades and friends who have always stuck by me, no matter the stream of lies spouted by the Murdoch gutter press."

He added: "It has taken 13 years to get here but I and my family are still standing. The News of the World is defunct and disgraced."

A spokeswoman for News UK, which NGN is part of, said: "Mr Sheridan won a libel trial against News Of The World in 2006. He was subsequently proven to have lied in court during his libel trial and was convicted of perjury as a result.

"We were seeking to appeal the decision made at the original trial and are astonished that this has not been allowed to proceed. This is an exceptionally disappointing decision by the courts."

Mr Sheridan, a former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party and Glasgow MSP, was awarded compensation after winning the defamation trial in 2006.

It is understood that Mr Sheridan was not paid the money at the time of the original defamation judgement.

In 2010, he was found guilty of perjury while giving evidence during the earlier case and jailed for three years.

He was freed from prison after serving just over a year of his sentence.

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