Leader of thuggish Scottish Socialist Party jailed for three years, guilty of perjury
The Daily Mail reported that:
Nice to see that Mr Sheridan is paying the price for his overblown sense of self importance and invulnerability, as well as his arrogance toward the law. This man is a corrupt politician openly encouraging violence toward political opponents.Sheridan described his punishment as ‘heartbreaking’ and vowed to keep fighting.She sat in the front of the courtroom, as close as possible to her husband, as the judge delivered his sentence and led the politician and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant’s family, friends and comrades in a one-fisted salute as he was taken to the cells.The 46-year-old Scot who won £200,000 damages by cynically denying News of the World claims that he was an adulterer who attended a sordid swingers’ sex club.
But on Christmas Eve, after a 12 week trial, he was convicted of lying and a judge told Sheridan today how he had ‘brought the walls of the temple crashing down not only on your own head but also on your family and your political friends and foes’ by pursuing his case against the newspaper.
The Sunday tabloid has already lodged an appeal against the defamation action and if it pursues claims for its £1 million-plus legal costs the firebrand socialist faces bankruptcy.
Sheridan – who previously served time as part of an anti-poll tax campaign and then over an anti-Trident protest at Faslane nuclear submarine base – maintained his innocence through the trial.
He claimed he was the victim of a ‘vendetta’ by the police and a ‘conspiracy’ involving the News of the World and colleagues within the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).
The former SSP leader said 16 former allies were lying as part of a ‘political civil war’ when they told the High Court in Glasgow that he had admitted at a 2004 meeting having been to Cupid’s swingers’ club in Manchester.
Sheridan, who conducted his own defence, called Andy Coulson, a former NoW editor and Prime Minister David Cameron’s ex- communications chief, to give evidence during the sensational trial.
But the jury found him guilty of perjury during the 2006 civil defamation case and lying about having an affair with SSP member Katrine Trolle.
In a 50-minute plea before sentencing yesterday, Sheridan asked for a ‘proportionate and reasonable’ sentence and referring to previous perjury cases, including those of former Conservative MPs Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aiken, said: ‘This is not a murder trial. Nobody has been killed and neither has an innocent person been imprisoned.’
But the judge, Lord Bracadale, while praising him as a ‘hard-working’ politician, added:’ When perjury is established it must be dealt with seriously for the benefit of the court and the public.
‘You embarked on an action in the Court of Session knowing that, for it to be successful, you would be required to tell lies under affirmation.
‘You committed perjury and you were awarded a very large sum in damages. The only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment.’
Sheridan listened to the judge’s comments in silence and stared straight ahead as he was hand-cuffed by dock officers.
As he was led away to the cells, he turned to his wife Gail – who was acquitted of the same charge last year – and said: ‘Take care, all the best’.
In a statement read outside court by his solicitor, Aamer Anwar, he said:’ This multi-million pound prosecution will separate me from my wife and my child and that will be heartbreaking.
‘But I will continue to fight a system that protects the real criminals – the rich and powerful.’
He intends to appeal against his perjury conviction and launch a legal action against the News of the World, the Metropolitan Police and private detective Glenn Mulcaire over the phone-hacking scandal surrounding the newspaper.
His statement continued: ‘Andy Coulson may have resigned for the second time but if he and others are not above the law then it is time that they faced justice. That chapter is yet to be written.’
Outside court, Mrs Sheridan said: ‘Tommy has dedicated his life to helping others. The real reason why he’s been imprisoned today is because he has fought injustice and inequality with every beat of his heart. But it won’t be long before Tommy is back stronger and continuing the fight.’
A News of the World spokesman said: ‘This is a just outcome to a long and complex criminal case. Today’s sentence also provides closure for the many witnesses who very bravely exposed their own lives to public scrutiny when they testified to Mr Sheridan’s guilt.
‘Mr Sheridan has been jailed for lying to a court to secure victory when he sued the News of the World for defamation in 2006. At the time he was an elected member of the Scottish Parliament.
‘As we have made clear, we have an appeal lodged against that defamation verdict and we now look forward to that appeal succeeding in Scotland’s Court of Session.’
Scottish Socialist Party members Frances Curran and Colin Fox said: ‘He alone is responsible for where he sleeps tonight, no-one else.
‘He pursued legal action full in the knowledge he would lie in court. He asked his closest political allies and friends to join him in that crazy strategy and then turned on us because we refused. ‘
The last example of his SSP method of campaigning for social justice was on Saturday 18th of September, when a BNP team was holding a street table in Glasgow to collect signatures for our “Bring our boys home” campaign.
After a good start the team of 7 BNP activists were surrounded by a mob of 100 – 200 hate filled yobs.
The stall was destroyed and thrown at a youngster!
2 members were assaulted (kicked and punched) and spat upon. The mob continued to destroy party literature and litter it across the street.
When police arrived the thugs vented their hatred towards them. The brave team stood ground until the police gained control of the situation. As this was going on a few members of public joined ranks with the team and were in turn attacked.
A couple of months later Young SSP official Liam Turbett was charged with offences linked to the cowardly attack on our activists in Buchanan Street.
Also the Police wanted to get in touch with Scottish socialist candidate Daniel O’Donnell who stood in front of the police tearing up our leaflets, the Police Sergeant dealing with this case has confirmed that O’Donnell was likely the next to be charged along with the ethnic coloured boy who spat on JoeFinnie (so far it’s not known if Mr O’Donnell was charged).
Here is the video of the attack:
No one from the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) ever condemned this aggression and for a very good reason, the SSP (like the Socialist Workers Party), firmly believes that violence against political opponent is legitimate.
In a normal country this would never be tolerated, but Britain is not a normal country anymore and it’s a known fact that government actively support the fascist/antifascist thugs (witness Camerons support for the UAF).
For this reason I’m more than happy Tommy Sheridan will be spending three years in prison and finally have to face the consequences of his actions.
People who constantly lie and believe they are beyond the law sooner or later run out of luck, and run into trouble.
Let’s hope that Mr Sheridan “enjoys” the diversity of Scottish prisons, and with a bit of luck hardened black and asian convicts will harass and attack him in the same way SSP members attacked BNP activists in Glasgow.
How does the old saying go? You play with fire and sooner or later you will get burnt.
GIUSEPPE DE SANTIS