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Sheridan vows to fight conviction

Disgraced socialist politician Tommy Sheridan has vowed he will return to "fight for justice" as he begins a three-year jail sentence for perjury.

The 46-year-old former MSP was jailed after being found guilty of lying under oath during his 2006 defamation action against the News of the World.

He was awarded £200,000 in damages after winning the civil case, but a jury found him guilty last month of lying about the newspaper's claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers' clubs.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Bracadale told the former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) that he had written himself into Scottish political and social history during his career.

But he said his decision to pursue the Sunday tabloid for defamation "brought the walls of the temple crashing down not only on your own head but also on the heads of your family and your political friends and foes alike".

Sheridan listened to the judge's comments in silence and stared straight ahead as he was handcuffed in the dock.

In a statement read outside court, his solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "This multimillion-pound prosecution will separate me from my wife and child and that will be heartbreaking.

"But I will continue to fight a system that protects the real criminals - the rich and powerful."

After a three-month trial - one of the longest of its kind in Scottish legal history - Sheridan was convicted of five of six allegations in a single charge of perjury, relating to his evidence during the 2006 case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Jurors found him guilty of lying about an affair with SSP member Katrine Trolle in 2005 and a trip to a swingers' club in Manchester with her, Andrew McFarlane, Gary Clark, and News of the World journalist Anvar Khan on September 27 2002.


From Belfast Telegraph