Gail Sheridan cleared of perjury in husband's defamation case

THE wife of former MSP Tommy Sheridan was cleared of perjury today after prosecutors dropped the only remaining charge against her at the High Court in Glasgow.

• Gail Sheridan outside court today. Picture: PA

The news of the acquittal was met with cheers from the public gallery as Mrs Sheridan wept and hugged her husband in the dock.

The judge then formally cleared her and she was able to leave the court.

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Outside court Mrs Sheridan's solicitor John-Paul Mowberry read a statement on behalf of Mrs Sheridan, who stood next to him.

He said: "After 44 days of trial, Gail stands cleared of all criminal charges.

"However, no further statement can be made due to ongoing proceedings."

Gail Sheridan, 46, was accused of lying to the courts during her husband's successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.

Today prosecutors dropped the only remaining charge of making false statements while under oath at the High Court in Glasgow.

She was accused of lying as a witness at the Court of Session in Edinburgh by telling the court she had checked both her and her husband's diaries for November 2001 and 2002, and they had both been at home overnight during every weekend in those months.

She also said she remembered spending every weekend in those months with her husband.

Last month, the Crown dropped several other allegations against Mrs Sheridan and her husband.

Tommy Sheridan still faces one charge of perjury.

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He denies lying to the courts during the action against the News of the World, which followed the newspaper's claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers' clubs.

Mr Sheridan won 200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed the allegations about his private life.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice said he made the decision taking into account her "personal circumstances" and because he had earlier dropped a portion of the evidence against Sheridan.

The couple first met as pupils at Lourdes Secondary School in Glasgow, but it was years later that romance blossomed between them.

Despite saying he did not believe in marriage, Sheridan proposed to his partner while they were on holiday in Cuba in 1996.

They wed in their home city in June 2000 and returned to Cuba again for their honeymoon.

Four years later the Sheridans announced they were expecting their first child.

Inside the courtroom she listened to claim after claim that he had cheated on her in a string of seedy encounters - claims that Sheridan denies.

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It was only after Scottish Socialist Party member Katrine Trolle told the court she had sex with Sheridan in his marital bed that she appeared visibly shaken and the trial was briefly adjourned.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.