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Freed Sheridan vows to clear name

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan has vowed to continue the fight to clear his name after being freed from prison, serving just over one year of his three-year sentence for lying under oath.

Sheridan, 47, walked out of Castle Huntly prison near Dundee shortly after 10am. His wife Gail went to the jail and they left arm in arm, before being driven back to their Glasgow home.

The high-profile politician and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant was jailed on January 26 last year for committing perjury during his successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.

He was awarded £200,000 in damages after winning the civil case but a jury at the High Court in Glasgow found him guilty of lying about the now-defunct tabloid's claims that he was an adulterer who visited a swingers' club.

Sheridan said he intended to launch a fresh appeal over his conviction. He claimed "witnesses" had lied during his perjury trial and said he would have "a strong appeal that will hopefully lead to the quashing of my unfair, unsafe and unsound conviction".

His lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said he had been instructed to draw up an appeal related to the outcome of the police investigation into alleged perjury during Sheridan's trial.

Speaking outside his house, Sheridan said: "This fight is far from over. This story has not yet finished. I believe that I will return to Glasgow High Court in the near future. I want to thank the thousands of ordinary folk across Scotland and further afield who have taken time to write to me."

The firebrand socialist told supporters he would throw his weight behind the campaign "to deliver Scotland not just as an independent country but as an independent socialist country as well".

Any prisoner serving a sentence of under four years is eligible for automatic early release at the halfway point in their jail term. Sheridan would therefore be entitled to be freed from prison after 18 months.

Individuals can spend up to the last six months of their sentence on home-detention curfew. This means they can be freed from prison to live at home but must wear an electronically monitored tag for the remainder of their sentence. Sheridan will be tagged and must stay at home between 7.15pm and 7.15am.


From Belfast Telegraph