Newspaper Group Refused Supreme Court Appeal On Sheridan Defamation Case

Judges at the UK's highest court have refused a bid by the owner of the now-defunct News Of The World to appeal against former MSP Tommy Sheridan's defamation victory a decade ago.

Mr Sheridan won the high-profile case against the newspaper after it printed allegations about the then-Socialist MSP's sex life, which included claims he visited a swingers' club.

The paper was ordered to pay £200,000 in damages, but weeks later a police investigation was launched into allegations of perjury and Mr Sheridan was charged.

He was jailed after being found guilty in December 2010 of lying under oath during the successful defamation action, and was freed from prison after serving just over a year of his sentence.

Mr Sheridan has always denied the allegations and launched an unsuccessful attempt to appeal against his conviction.

The case returned to the courts last year as News Group Newspapers (NGN) wanted to have the 2006 civil jury verdict set aside, but judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh refused the appeal.

An application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in London has now also been rejected as it ''does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance''.

The Supreme Court's order said: ''The court ordered that permission to appeal be 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 Supreme Court decision brings the appeal process to an end.

A spokeswoman for News UK, which NGN is part of, said: ''Mr Sheridan won a libel trial against News Of The World in 2006. He was subsequently proven to have lied in court during his libel trial and was convicted of perjury as a result.

''We were seeking to appeal the decision made at the original trial and are astonished that this has not been allowed to proceed. This is an exceptionally disappointing decision by the courts.''

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