Tommy Sheridan brother-in-law rejects sex club claim

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The Independent Online

A former friend of Tommy Sheridan and his brother-in-law was part of a "conspiracy" to make false allegations about a visit to a sex club in Manchester, a court heard today.

Andrew McFarlane, who is married to the sister of Sheridan's wife Gail, said he could not think of a reason why Gary Clark would lie about him.

The witness, 40, said he was no longer friends with Mr Clark, who previously told the perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow he could recall travelling in a car to Manchester with Sheridan, Mr McFarlane, Anvar Khan and Katrine Trolle.

Mr Clark said they went to an "unusual" club screening pornography on the walls.

But Mr McFarlane, giving evidence for a second day, repeated that the trip had not taken place and he had never even been to Manchester.

The former footballer with Queen of the South said he had been at home on the night of September 27 2002, watching the Ryder Cup and recovering from a hip operation.

Tommy and Gail Sheridan are accused of lying under oath during the politician's successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.

The couple, both 46, are accused of lying under oath during the trial, which followed the publication of allegations that he was an adulterer who visited swingers' clubs.

Sheridan was awarded £200,000 in damages after winning the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Under cross-examination from the advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, Mr McFarlane said he could think of no reason why Mr Clark, the News of the World and members of the Scottish Socialist Party would lie about him.

After he said he had "no interest" in politics, Mr Prentice put it to him: "There would be no reason for anyone in the SSP to put you down, would there?"

Mr McFarlane replied: "No."

He then asked: "You have nothing to hide or be worried about. There is no obvious reason why the News of the World would go after you?"

Mr McFarlane agreed.

The advocate depute said: "Anvar Khan, Katrine Trolle are all just liars?"

Mr McFarlane: "That is exactly what I am saying.".

Mr Prentice then asked: "Is Gary Clark part of some conspiracy?"

Mr McFarlane answered: "Yes. I can't explain why."

Mr Prentice then said: "It would be incredibly reckless to say you were with them if you were not. It is a dangerous thing to do, if they are going to fabricate this evidence to include you?"

Mr McFarlane replied: "Yes.".

Sheridan is accused of making false statements as a witness in the defamation action of July 21, 2006.

Mrs Sheridan is accused of making false statements on July 31, 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial. Both deny the charges.

The trial, before Lord Bracadale, continues.