Just like the former MSP’s perjury trial, there was claim and counter-claim yesterday as an ex-SSP member whose son was a Crown witness in the court case alleged his family was barred from a restaurant because the owner is a friend of Sheridan’s.
Ken Ferguson, 58, said Fatima Uygun refused to serve him, his son Jack, 28, and the rest of his family at her new eaterie, Saladin’s Silk Road Diner and Deli, on Great Western Road, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, on Saturday.
Ms Uygun, who was one of three witnesses the Sheridan camp was preparing to use in an appeal against his jail sentence for perjury, denied she had thrown the Fergusons out of her restaurant, but the bitter fall-out continued as former MSP Carolyn Leckie posted Mr Ferguson’s claim on Twitter, sparking responses from her followers.
Ken Ferguson, a former member of the SSP, said he had taken his wife and two sons to Saladin’s for a meal on Saturday afternoon, without knowing who owned the restaurant.
He said: “She told us they couldn’t serve us because they were friends of Tommy’s, which seemed a bit odd. It’s a bizarre way to behave, because there are lots of other restaurants around there and it’s doesn’t seem wise to turn away a £50 cover.
“Usually people are turned away from restaurants for being drunk and disorderly.
“We were a family group going out for an afternoon meal. We were surprised and angry.”
Jack Ferguson, a former organiser of the SSP youth wing, appeared during the trial to testify that Jock Penman, a Scottish Socialist Party worker, had privately told him Sheridan had admitted allegations against him.
Mr Penman had told the High Court in Glasgow that Sheridan had not admitted to anything.
The fallen socialist leader made a counterclaim that Jack Ferguson had left aggressive messages on his phone calling him a “dirty turncoat”, which the student denied.
Ms Uygun, who stood as a council candidate for Sheridan’s Solidarity party in Glasgow in 2007, once threatened to hunt down Sheridan’s enemies like “wild animals” and claimed the tanned socialist was with her on the night a court heard he was at Cupid’s, a sex club in Manchester.
In an interview with a newspaper, she said she was determined to correct the “miscarriage of justice” and would “rugby tackle” Sheridan and testify he was with her in Glasgow on the night he was said to be in Cupid’s.
She claimed the fallen socialist leader could not have been at the sex club, because she was at an event on socialism and the arts with him in Glasgow, where he gave her a “kiss for my birthday”. But The Herald later revealed that records at Companies House showed her birthday was four days before, on September 23.
She posted a Facebook message on December 29, six days after the guilty verdict against Sheridan, which said: “I have already made it my life’s mission to hunt the scab down like wild animals … adding their parasitic friends to my ‘hate list’.”
In another Facebook message, she admitted her interruptions and reactions during the trial had forced the judge to threaten to remove her from the courtroom.
She sat through the trial as an observer, but was not called as a witness.
When approached at her restaurant by The Herald yesterday, Ms Uygun denied she threw the Fergusons out and said: “We have only been open a few weeks and have hardly barred anyone.
“I do not want any mischief from the SSP or any bad publicity. The last time I saw him [Jack Ferguson] was at Tommy’s trial.”
She added: “This is a very naughty thing to say.”
She then asked a member of staff to escort The Herald’s reporter and photographer off the premises.