Sheridan's brother-in-law denies visiting sex club

Tommy Sheridan’s brother-in-law said yesterday he was at home watching golf on the night the former Socialist MSP is alleged to have attended a sex club with him.

Andrew McFarlane also denied meeting a woman who claimed to have had a threesome with the two men, saying he “would never dream” of being unfaithful to his wife.

McFarlane, a former footballer with Queen of the South, was giving evidence to Sheridan’s perjury trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sheridan and his wife Gail, both 46, are accused of lying to the courts during his successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006, which followed the newspaper’s claims that he was an adulterer who visited swingers’ clubs.

Witness Katrine Trolle previously told the trial she had had sex with Sheridan and McFarlane at McFarlane’s home.

She also testified that McFarlane had been part of a group that had visited Cupid’s – a swingers’ club in Manchester – on September 27, 2002.

McFarlane, 40, told the court yesterday he had never met her, and had not had any sexual contact with Trolle.

He also denied ever meeting or having any sexual contact with former News of the World columnist Anvar Khan – who also said he went to Cupid’s with her and Sheridan.

McFarlane, who married Gail’s sister Gillian Healy in 2002, told Sheridan: “I was at home watching the golf.

“Ordinarily I couldn’t remember that, but my wife and I have discussed it. I had a hip operation, I was off work.

“I love my wife. I have never been unfaithful. I wouldn’t dream of it. I have a beautiful wife; I would never risk losing that.”

Sheridan, who is conducting his own defence, asked him: “Have you ever met Anvar Khan?” McFarlane replied: “No, never.”

Sheridan asked him: “Have you ever had sexual contact with Anvar Khan?”

He replied: “No, never.”

Sheridan then asked him: “Did you know Katrine Trolle?” McFarlane said: “No.”

When asked if he had had “sexual contact” with Trolle, he said: “Given I have never met her, no.”

He added that he was “absolutely” suggesting that the two women had lied about their relations with him, saying he was at home watching golf on September 27, 2002 and recovering from a hip operation.

Sheridan is accused of making false statements as a witness on July 21, 2006. Gail Sheridan is accused of making false statements on July 31, 2006, after being sworn in as a witness in the civil jury trial. They both deny the charges.

The trial also heard evidence from one of Sheridan’s school friends, Thomas Montgomery.

He said another man said to have been at Cupid’s with Sheridan was also watching golf that night.

Gary Clark previously told the trial he had been to an “unusual” club in Manchester with Sheridan, Katrine Trolle, Anvar Khan and Andy McFarlane in September 2002.

He said the club was screening pornography on the walls, but his memories were hazy.

But yesterday Montgomery, who has known Sheridan since he was 10 years old, said Clark “couldn’t remember” where he had been that night and said he had been with him watching the Ryder Cup until around 9pm on September 27.

Montgomery said he had a “Eureka moment” about the date after hearing about Sheridan’s trial in news reports.

He said: “I thought: ‘Hang on a minute. September 27, 2002?”

But he was unable to say at what point in the trial he heard about the date or who was giving evidence.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC asked him: “What did you do with this information?” He replied: “Nothing.”

Prentice asked: “Are you saying that you gave no information of this to Mr Sheridan and his advisor – is that your evidence?

“Think very carefully. Bear in mind the nature of this case. He had no idea what you were going to say?”

The witness replied: “Yes.”

Prentice asked him: “So it was just a guess out of the blue that Mr Sheridan asked you a question about September 27, and, lo and behold, you gave this information?”

Montgomery said: “Yes” – to which Mr Prentice replied: “That is just a complete lie, isn’t it?”

Montgomery was one of three defence witnesses who were shown the so-called “McNeilage tape” yesterday.

He, along with Jim Monaghan and Steve Arnott said he believed the voice was not that of Sheridan.

Arnott told Sheridan: “I don’t think it is you, Tommy.

“Obviously it does sound a wee bit like you but it is made to sound a wee bit like you.

“I have known you for 24 years. That is someone doing your public voice, your public persona, and doing it in a very rough way.”

Arnott said he felt the amount of swearing in the tape also indicated that it was not Sheridan speaking.

He said: “I have perhaps heard you say f*** 24 times in 24 years. That sounds like Cartman from South Park, there.”

The rest of the trial will be heard in front of 14 jurors, after Lord Bracadale discharged one of the jurors. He said further directions would be given to the jury in due course.

The trial was adjourned until later this morning.

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