The Sheridan Trial and Douglas Wight

 During Today’s Scottish Television lunchtime news Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby reported that Strathclyde police were to investigate allegations of phone hacking in Scotland.  He concluded his piece (which can be seen Here ) by stating that that the “finger of suspicion” was pointing to   Douglas Wight, a News of the World journalist and Crown witness during the Sheridan trial.

Unlike many of the witnesses in the case, Mr Wight was far from a household name, and reports of his testimony concentrated on his dealings with a Fiona McGuire and his denials that this was a sexual relationship (see Here ) However looking back at his testimony we can see he was specifically asked about possible involvement in illegal activities and his relationship with Greg Miskiw who is emerging as a key player in the unfolding News of the World “Hackgate” scandal.

The account we did at the time of the trial breaks Mr Wights testimony into three parts which can be read in full below. They key section though occurs in our report of part one of his evidence to the jury;

Mr Sheridan  asked whether it was part of Mr Wight’s  job to break the law, with Mr Wight replying that this was “not strictly true”, adding that he did not accept it to be true when Mr Sheridan repeated the question.

Mr Sheridan then asked whether the NoW was a newspaper that regarded itself as being above the law and that could make make payments to people to remain quiet about illegal activities. The witness replied he was not aware of any payment for illegal activities.

Mr Sheridan then asked specifically about Stephen Whittamore, whom the witnessed admitted using as he provided info that could help move stories on…the witness stating that Mr Whittamore was a resource used in general by the paper, but that he could not recall who had originally passed him the name of Mr Whittamore, but denied that it was Andy Coulson as he was not at the NoW at the time, and that it probably wasn’t Greg Miskiw either. Mr Sheridan finally asked what the witness knew of Mr Whittamore now, with the witness stating that he knew Mr Whittamore had been prosecuted for accessing data in breach of the data protection act.

It was revealed in court that requests for information from Mr Wight appeared in Mr Whitamore’s records 70 times.

Mr Wight was also discussed during the testimony of Andrew Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World who was arrested this morning on suspicion of involvement in phone hacking. Mr Coulson confirmed that he had appointed Douglas Wight as a features editor at the National News of the World, possibly at the recomendation of Bob Bird the newspaper’s Scottish editor.

Of course these are only allegations so far and Mr Wight is entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. However does this new information open up more questions about the safety of conviction of Tommy Sheridan as a Crown Witness may told less that the whole truth to the High Court jury?

Douglas Wight Part One

Douglas Wight Part Two

Douglas Wight Part Three

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The Sheridan Trial and Douglas Wight

  1. Jamesie Cotter Esq.

    Welcome back everybody to another autumn season of struggle for Tommy – currently not enjoying the limelight as Scotland’s most prominent perjurer.
    I see that Mr Anwar is back on the record after his stint as amicus curiae.
    Wonder if he can now show the NowT hacked into legally privileged converstaions/messages between himself and Tommy? However, that may involve him as a witness and require Tommy to select yet another lawyer.
    I’ve asked the NowT whether they intend to pursue their appeal against the jury’s finding in the defamation trial. No response yet, but I presume that New International as the parent company will still run that appeal?
    Meanwhile, an early release date must be on the cards given promises of further damaging revealations from the NowT. Inconveniently for Tommy, a conviction founded mainly on the evidence of his ex-comrades may not be assailable simply because NowT’s newshounds behaved despicably. That could lead to greater public sympathy (Tommy welcomed at the prison gates by the spectacle of the Dowlers, a British Legion Band and various charity luminaries singing the Internationale?) but I can’t see it being enough to overturn a conviction. But this one will run and run comrades.

    Yours with septum still very much intact,

    Jamesie Cotter Esq. Govan Straw Clutchers Collective

  2. obanvoice

    Looking in from the outside, I don’t want to discuss the verdict on Tommy Sheridan. What I have observed that Tommy manage to get the Cameron’s spin doctor in a Scottish Court of Law and according to the main stream media that person may of lied in court. Many say this does not effect the out come of the case, as I said before I don’t want to discuss the verdict on Tommy Sheridan, but if that person has lied in a Scottish Court of Law, that Tommy Sheridan in my view is switched on despite what the SSP say about him, will they become history like the news of the world.

    • Jamesie Cotter Esq, Govan Straw Clutchers Collective

      ‘Switched on’ or just first among equals, Tommy was and is way ahead of the game. Coulson, appearing as a Defence witness, is merely alleged to have lied in Court. Besides his ability to summons witnesses in his Defence (not a particularly unique skill), Tommy has a conviction to prove he lied to a Scottish Court in his own cause. Way to go, Coulson!

  3. Ian Thomson

    Welcolm back James Doleman a good read and haveing read your Sheridan trial blog this is on a par. Well reported from many sources and fair in the comments and reporting.
    Good Luck

    Ian Thomson

  4. Avid Reader

    Just found this blog. Great to read you again James. Glad you’re still on the case, so to speak. Interesting times or what?

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