Tommy Sheridan freed from jail

 

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan
has vowed to continue the fight to clear his name as he was 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.

Sheridan's trial was one of the longest of its kind in Scottish legal history.

He was convicted of five out of six allegations in a single charge of perjury, relating to his evidence during the civil action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

During the three-month High Court trial, Sheridan said he was the victim of a "vendetta" by the police and a "conspiracy" involving the Sunday newspaper and former colleagues within the Scottish Socialist Party.

In August last year he was denied the chance to appeal against his conviction, following a ruling by senior judges.

Speaking outside his house today, 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, send me cards and letters, contact me on Facebook and to show their solidarity with me and my family throughout this difficult 12 months.

"I would like to thank them for being so human and so warm and respecting the fact that although we lost a trial in December of last year, we will continue to fight to clear my name."

The firebrand socialist told supporters he would throw his weight behind the campaign for an independent Scotland, saying: "I look forward to re-engaging in the battle for justice and against inequality and poverty, and I also look forward to engaging in the campaign to deliver Scotland not just as an independent country but as an independent socialist country as well."

He added: "I thank once again all of those who have stuck by me, my family and my friends. But most of all, I thank my wife Gail."

Sheridan was initially subject to a "gagging order" banning him from speaking to the media.

However, he said this had been lifted this morning, but he added: "Unfortunately, although I am not to be gagged today, I will be tagged."

He added: "It is a relief to be able to speak personally for once. It seems a long time now since I have been able to speak.

"It's been an absolute delight to be back home with my beautiful wife who I love dearly, and my daughter Gabrielle who I have missed beyond words are able to describe."

Sheridan hugged his wife tightly as he spoke to his friends, family and the media. Before he went back into the house, the couple shared a kiss on the doorstep.

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.

However, under current provisions, it is possible for individuals to 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's tag is expected to be fitted this afternoon and he will have to stay at home between 7.15pm and 7.15am.

PA

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn