Glasgow & West Scotland

Tommy Sheridan trial hears of 'psychic warning' e-mail

Bob Bird
Image caption Bob Bird is the Scottish editor of the News of the World

The Tommy Sheridan perjury trial has been told the former MSP was warned by a "psychic" agony aunt that he was under "round the clock" surveillance.

The jury was shown an e-mail to Mr Sheridan from Yasmin Urquhart, who wrote for the News of the World under the name "Ruth the Truth".

In it she claimed the politician was being monitored by the newspaper.

Mr Sheridan and his wife Gail deny lying during his successful defamation case against the paper in 2006.

The former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) won £200,000 in damages after the News of the World printed allegations about his private life, claiming he was an adulterer who had visited a swingers club.

Following a police investigation, the former MSP and his wife, both 46, were charged with perjury.

At the High Court in Glasgow, the Scottish editor of the News of the World, Bob Bird, was giving evidence for a fourth day.

Under cross-examination from Mr Sheridan, who is defending himself, Mr Bird said he could not explain the e-mail from Ms Urquhart.

Image caption Gail and Tommy Sheridan deny perjury

The 54-year-old said, however, that as a psychic agony aunt "Ruth the Truth" quite often got predictions wrong.

Earlier Mr Bird claimed allegations that the newspaper had a campaign against Mr Sheridan were "utter tripe".

At the end of his cross examination, Mr Sheridan asked the journalist to take a message to his boss in London.

Referring to his wife, Mr Sheridan said: "Tell him this is one relationship he'll never break."

It is alleged that Mr Sheridan made false statements as a witness in his defamation action against the News of the World on 21 July 2006.

He also denies another charge of attempting to persuade a witness to commit perjury shortly before the 23-day legal action got under way.

Mrs Sheridan denies making false statements on 31 July 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The trial, before Lord Bracadale, continues.

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