Gail Sheridan cleared of perjury charges

Gail Sheridan's solicitor John-Paul Mowberry reads a statement outside the High Court in Glasgow after perjury charges against her were dropped.

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Tommy Sheridan's wife Gail has been acquitted of perjury at the High Court in Glasgow after the Crown dropped the charges against her.

Mrs Sheridan had been accused of making false statements as a witness during her husband's successful defamation case against the News of the World.

The Crown withdrew the charges on Friday, saying they were no longer necessary in the public interest.

Mr Sheridan still faces charges of perjury, which he denies.

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, Lord Bracadale, then formally cleared her and she was able to leave the court. He then adjourned the trial until Monday.

Gail and Tommy Sheridan Charges against Gail Sheridan were dropped but her husband is still on trial

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

He said: "All charges against Gail Sheridan have now been withdrawn.

"Gail wishes to thank her solicitor JP Mowberry and counsel Paul McBride, Billy Lavelle and Liam O'Donnell for their representations on her behalf.

"After 44 days of trial, Gail stands clear from any criminal charges. However, no further statement can be made at this time due to on-going proceedings."

Former Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) leader Mr Sheridan won £200,000 after the News of the World printed allegations that he had committed adultery and visited a swingers' club.

After the court action, Mr and Mrs Sheridan were charged with perjury.

Mr Sheridan denies making false statements as a witness in the defamation action on 21 July 2006.

On Monday, the jury will hear the closing speech from prosecutor, Alex Prentice QC.

This will be followed by Mr Sheridan's address the following day.

Lord Bracadale will then give his directions of law before jurors are sent out to consider the verdict.

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