The evidence: Why Moat House sex party claims were ditched

THE "Moat House Hotel chapter" referred to by prosecutor Alex Prentice when he ditched the remaining charges against Gail Sheridan referred to an alleged sex party in a Glasgow hotel.

Evidence given in the 2006 civil action by Mrs Sheridan and her husband about the alleged incident had been one of several instances where the Crown had alleged perjury in the indictment at the start of the current trial.

The "sex party" was said to have been organised by Matthew McColl and to have taken place in a suite at the hotel on 14 June, 2002. It was alleged that Sheridan and his brother-in-law, Andy McFarlane, had had sex with a woman who had travelled from Birmingham for the party.

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Mr McColl told the court, in the face of Sheridan's denials, that the then MSP had been at the Moat House that night.

Mr McColl refuted suggestions in a police statement from Beverly Dixon, the woman from Birmingham, that they had a casual relationship in which they would have sex. In the statement, she said she had had sex with him at the Moat House, but again he rejected the claim.

Gail Sheridan's QC, Paul McBride, raised the issue of a club called Adam and Eve, and Mr McColl denied he had ever been a swinger. Mr McBride went on to force Mr McColl into admitting he had lied about never being in the club.

Mr McBride said: "We now know, in relation to that at least, you are not a truthful man."

The prosecutor then decided to delete from the indictment all allegations relating to the Moat House.