Weakness led Sheridan to swingers' club, court told

Tommy Sheridan visited a sex club in Manchester out of “weakness of the flesh”; it was claimed yesterday in court.

Dr Nicholas McKerrell told the High Court in Glasgow that the former MSP told him he had visited Cupid’s with News of the World sex columnist Anvar Khan, but that the journalist would never testify against him.

The Glasgow Caledonian University law lecturer said he thought Sheridan was being “reckless” after he told him he intended to take legal action against the News of the World newspaper over allegations printed about his private life.

Sheridan and his wife Gail are accused of lying under oath during his successful defamation action against the News of the World in 2006.

He sued the newspaper following the publication of allegations that he was an adulterer who visited swingers’ clubs, winning £200,000 in damages. But following the trial a police investigation was launched and the couple were charged with perjury. They deny the charges.

McKerrell said he had known Sheridan since the age of 16, and had joined the Scottish Socialist Party in 1998, when it was founded.

The 40-year-old said Sheridan had discussed the allegations printed in the News of the World with him before a hustings meeting at the university. The SSP were choosing a new leader after Sheridan stepped down in 2004.

He told the advocate depute: “He was quite evasive, he wasn’t looking me in the eye, he was looking into his cappuccino. He said: ‘I think you know a bit about this – that I attended clubs in Manchester twice in 1996 and 2002.’

“Then he said: ‘You know what it’s like – weakness of the flesh. He mentioned Anvar Khan. He said Anvar Khan would never testify. He outlined his situation – that he was preparing legal action. I thought it was very strange.

‘Tommy was embarking on a reckless course of action that was going to destroy all the work that had been done in the preceding seven years.”

The trial was adjourned until later today.

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