Your leader, “Why did Coulson charge ever go to court?” (4 June), hit the nail on the head. I am no lawyer nor am I an expert in legal studies but, as the author of Tommy Sheridan – from hero to zero? A political biography (Welsh Academic Press, 2012), I was able some time ago to deduce on p224 of the biography the following about Sheridan in his own 2010 perjury trial:
“Whether [Sheridan’s] phone was hacked or not was immaterial to the case for it did not relate to earlier incidents at Cupids (1996, 2002) and did not override his admissions of those.
“Similarly, the claims of a conspiracy by the News of the World against Tommy may have some substance but they only relate to the period after he won his defamation action when NoW was smarting from defeat.”
It is, indeed, strange that the Crown Office, with all its legal expertise and resources, was unable to make the same deduction about whether the veracity of what Coulson said in Sheridan’s trial as a defence witness related to the matters that Sheridan was then on trial for.
An awful lot of public money has been wasted as a result of the failure to do so. However, I see no conspiracy or corruption in explaining this as Tommy Sheridan does.
It is a pity that such voices of reasonable reduction were not heeded by the Crown Office beforehand.
(Prof) Gregor Gall
Professor of Industrial Relations
School of Management
University of Bradford