Yes I have referred to the Sheridan trial a few times and as it reaches its conclusion, readers may find the following of interest.
This piece from the BBC, which refers to Tommy’s victory in the News of the World defamation case in 2006 refers to his closing speech thus:
‘Mr Sheridan’s speech to the jury, lasting some 85 minutes, has been described by observers as a “tour de force”. It was an impassioned and powerful plea – an exceptionally fine piece of oratory.’
It then goes on to say:
‘Mike Jones, QC for the newspaper, used a completely different technique. He spoke to the jury over two days for a period of six hours, laboriously going through the evidence which had been called by the newspaper.’
‘It cannot be denied that it will be somewhat embarrassing for the Faculty of Advocates to have watched one of their top QCs sacked by Mr Sheridan, who then went on to beat another leading QC in this trial. But any lawyer in a case of this sort can only be as good as the quality of his witnesses.’
I notice that Alex Prentice (Advocate Depute) was at pains to point out yesterday in his closing speech that this was not the 2006 trial part 2. He will be hoping that this is indeed the case.
Perhaps the difficulty in predicting how the legal process is going to pan out is encapsulated in the final line from the 2006 BBC piece, written by their solicitor Alistair Bonnington:
‘Although the jury’s verdict appears to mean that they believe they were lied to by the newspapers’ witnesses, it should be remembered that, because the onus in a defamation case is on the newspaper, it could be that the jury did not know whom to believe.’
‘For that reason, there will be no perjury prosecutions arising out of this civil trial.’