Judges reject call for new Tommy Sheridan trial

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan will not face another trial after judges rejected an attempt by the owner of the now-defunct News Of The World to set aside his defamation victory.

Tommy Sheridan will not face a further trial
Tommy Sheridan will not face a further trial

Mr Sheridan won the high-profile case against the newspaper in 2006 after it printed allegations about the then-Socialist MSP’s sex life, which included claims he visited a swingers’ club.The paper was ordered to pay £200,000 in damages, but weeks later a police investigation was launched into allegations of perjury and Mr Sheridan was charged.He was jailed after being found guilty in December 2010 of lying under oath during the successful defamation action, and was freed from prison after serving just over a year of his sentence.Mr Sheridan has always denied the allegations and launched an unsuccessful attempt to appeal against his conviction.The case returned to the courts in May as News Group Newspapers (NGN) wanted to have the 2006 civil jury verdict set aside, but judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh have now refused the application.A written summary of opinion issued by Lady Paton, Lord Drummond Young and Lord McGhie said the reasoning of the jury “was not undermined by the perjury conviction”.It said: “The jurors had heard and seen all the witnesses and the written evidence, and were the judges of the facts, deciding questions of credibility and reliability.“The jurors would apply the directions in law given by the trial judge. Those directions included an instruction that if the jury found that some (but not all) of the allegations made against Mr Sheridan were proved, they still had to assess whether the unproved and unsubstantiated allegations materially injured Mr Sheridan’s reputation.“Thus it was open to the jury to disbelieve some of Mr Sheridan’s evidence, to find certain evidence led on behalf of NGN established, yet still to conclude that Mr Sheridan had been defamed.”NGN had argued the verdict was “unsafe” due to Mr Sheridan’s subsequent perjury conviction.A spokeswoman for News UK, which NGN is part of, said it was “disappointed” by the ruling and was now “considering all options”.