News UK bid to overturn lying Tommy Sheridan's £200k libel win over News of the World rejected by Supreme Court - Press Gazette

News UK bid to overturn lying Tommy Sheridan's £200k libel win over News of the World rejected by Supreme Court

Justices at the Supreme Court have rejected an attempt by the owner of the now-defunct News of The World to appeal against former MSP Tommy Sheridan’s defamation victory a decade ago.

Sheridan won the high-profile case against the newspaper 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 Sheridan was charged with lying under oath during the case.

He was convicted in December 2010 and the following month given a three-year prison sentence. He was freed from jail after serving just over a year of the term.

Sheridan launched an unsuccessful attempt to appeal against his conviction.

The case returned to the courts last year as News Group Newspapers (part of News UK) sought to have the 2006 civil jury verdict set aside and a re-trial ordered, but judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh rejected the application.

The newspaper group’s application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in London was rejected on Friday last week, with a panel of Justices saying it “does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance”.

The Supreme Court decision brings the appeal process to an end.

A spokeswoman for News UK said: “Mr Sheridan won a libel trial against News of The World in 2006. He was subsequently proven to have lied in court during his libel trial and was convicted of perjury as a result.

“We were seeking to appeal the decision made at the original trial and are astonished that this has not been allowed to proceed. This is an exceptionally disappointing decision by the courts.”

Sheridan said the decision was “another battle won”.

He added: “I want to thank my wife Gail for her unstinting support throughout these difficult years and my solicitor Gordon Dangerfield for his herculean efforts on my behalf.

“It has taken 13 years to get here but I and my family are still standing.”



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette