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Supreme Court declines to hear News Group Sheridan damages appeal

17 March 2017

News Group Newspapers has failed in its final attempt to challenge the £200,000 awarded by a jury to former Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan in his defamation action against the News of the World.

A panel of three Justices of the UK Supreme Court has refused the publishers permission to appeal the decision of the Court of Session to reject their motion for a new jury trial, following Mr Sheridan's conviction for perjury in the original trial.

The original award followed a number of articles about Mr Sheridan in the News of the World making various allegations of adultery, participation in group sexual activities, and drinking of champagne while claiming to be teetotal. The motion for a new trial was refused by the Inner House on the basis that issues of credibility had been fully before the jury, whose award appeared "to demonstrate a discriminating verdict on the evidence before them" and who might well have accepted some parts of Mr Sheridan's evidence and rejected others.

After the Inner House refused leave to appeal its decision, News Group applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which today announced that permission was refused "because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered at this time bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal".

The Court of Session judgment therefore stands.


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