Jurors in the Craig Whyte trial told to apply ‘cool head’

Lawyer Paul Kavanagh (left) and Craig Whyte (right) leaving Glasgow High Court as the  jury in former Rangers owner fraud trial have been told to keep "cool heads" as they prepare to consider their verdict. Picture: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire
Lawyer Paul Kavanagh (left) and Craig Whyte (right) leaving Glasgow High Court as the jury in former Rangers owner fraud trial have been told to keep "cool heads" as they prepare to consider their verdict. Picture: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire
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The judge in the Craig Whyte fraud trial has told jurors to apply “a cool head” to the evidence.

Lady Stacey also urged the eight men and seven women to take a “long hard look” at what they have heard and be “impartial”.

She was giving her legal directions in week seven of the trial at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday.

Whyte denies a charge of fraud and a second allegation under the Companies Act in connection with his May 2011 Rangers takeover.

The court has heard how Whyte struck a £1 deal to purchase Sir David Murray’s controlling stake at Ibrox.

Lady Stacey said the jury must assess the “credibility and reliability” of testimony heard.

A total of 17 prosecution witnesses gave evidence during the trial – including Sir David and former Rangers managers Ally McCoist and Walter Smith.

Lady Stacey said jurors may have certain views on matters.

But, she went on: “They are pre-conceived ideas and opinions that you would be entitled to in your own home, but not as judges – you have to be impartial.”

Jurors were also told they should not be influenced by any “consequences” that result from the trial and that they must not “speculate or guess”.

The judge said: “I am asking you to apply a cool head and take a long hard look at everything before you.”

It was further heard the Crown has to prove the charges “beyond reasonable doubt”.

Earlier, Whyte’s QC Donald Findlay completed his closing speech to jurors.

He told them they were set to “make the biggest decision for the man sitting in the dock”.

The advocate added people had come to court intent on Whyte being “the fall guy” as they did not have it in them to “accept their level of responsibility”.

Prosecutors claim Whyte pretended to Sir David and others that funds were immediately available to meet all stipulated payments.

These obligations included an £18m bank debt and £5m towards the playing squad.

It is claimed Whyte helped fund the takeover with an agreement with the firm Ticketus against three years season tickets.

Mr Findlay last week told jurors that for the Murray side it was the “deal that mattered” and they were apparently not concerned about other investors.

He today/yesterday claimed their “approach” to funding seemed to be “never mind the quality, feel the width”.

The QC had began resuming his speech by commenting on the “appalling” recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

He said what happened had put matters into a “different perspective”.

The trial continues.