Sheridan brands affair claims witness a 'liar'

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan faced the woman who claims to have had a four-year affair with him across a courtroom yesterday.

Katrine Trolle told his perjury trial on Tuesday the politician had a string of sexual encounters with her – including having group sex at a swingers’ club in Manchester.

Sheridan, who is representing himself in his perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow, called Trolle a “conscious liar” and accused her of making up “stories”.

Sheridan and his wife Gail, both 46, are accused of lying under oath during his successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.

Sheridan denies lying to the courts during the trial, which followed the newspaper’s claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers’ clubs.

The former Scottish Socialist Party MSP won £200,000 in damages after the newspaper printed the allegations about his private life.

He accused Trolle of “cooperating” with the News of the World before the libel action, and asked her if she had been “coached” by the police before she gave evidence.

She said she had been visited by police, a representative of the procurator fiscal and the News of the World’s lawyers, but said she had not been told what to say.

Sheridan said: “You and whoever you were working with from the News of the World made up the house visit stories and the sex with me within weeks of meeting, a threesome within a month to lend weight to the swingers’ yarn.”

Trolle denied she had lied, saying: “What would I have gained from working with or colluding with the News of the World?”

He said her allegations were a “downright lie”.

She replied: “It is not, Tommy Sheridan. We were at the club together.

“If it was up to me I would never, ever have gone to court with this at all.”

The indictment against the Sheridans contains three charges in total, two of which are broken down into subsections.

It is alleged he made false statements as a witness in the defamation action of 21 July 2006.

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

Gail Sheridan denies making false statements on 31 July 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial.

Trolle was asked about apparent “inconsistencies” between her testimony in 2006, and the evidence she gave the trial on Tuesday.

These included not mentioning that Gail Sheridan had been at a Christmas party when she and Sheridan first had sex.

Trolle said it was difficult to give evidence in her second language, and that she found the experience of going to court difficult.

She said: “It’s very, very stressful having to talk about your private and sexual life in front of a courtroom full of people.”

Sheridan replied: “It’s also very stressful having to sit and listen to those types of conversations, but we are trying to establish the truth.”

Trolle glanced at him and replied: “Yes, we are, Tommy, and I think the important thing is whether we had sex or not.

“I was at your house and we had sex, and on a few other occasions. We were at the club together. They are not stories.”

Trolle told the court yesterday that she had noticed a sunbed in the Sheridans’ house when she visited, but he claimed they did not own one.

He also produced his wife’s diaries; detailing several visits to a tanning salon in the same time that Trolle said she had had sex with Sheridan.

He also said that despite Trolle referring to Andrew McFarlane as Sheridan’s “brother-in-law”, he did not marry until two years after the alleged threesome took place.

Trolle said she thought Sheridan was dwelling on “unimportant matters”.

Sheridan asked her if she thought it was “unimportant to give details or explanations”.

She said: “I’m not talking about the court case, or the details. I’m talking about what we did.”

Trolle also added that she had not been offered, or taken money from the News of the World in return for her story.

Before beginning his cross-examination, Sheridan apologised to the jury for shouting during his earlier questioning of witnesses.

He said: “Can I apologise to the jury for the volume of my voice to date? I have been chastised and I will try to keep my voice down.”

The trial, before Lord Bracadale, was adjourned until later this morning.

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