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Monday, 18 December, 2000, 00:27 GMT
MSP jailed over anti-nuclear fine
Arrests at Faslane
About 150 people were arrested on the day
Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan is behind bars after handing himself in to police for non-payment of a 250 court fine.

The 36-year-old was convicted at Argyll District Court in Helensburgh last month following an anti-nuclear protest at the Faslane Trident submarine base on 14 February.

He was told that if he failed to pay the money he would spend 14 days in jail.

The 28-day deadline for the fine to be paid ran out last week and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Friday.

Tommy Sheridan
Sheridan: "Time for politicians to stand up"
Sheridan went to Dumbarton police station at 2330GMT on Sunday, cheered on by supporters.

He said he would return to Faslane on 12 February next year.

The Scottish Socialist Party leader spent the night in a police cell before being transferred to Greenock Prison on Monday morning.

Before giving himself up, Sheridan said: "It is important to stand up for a nuclear-free Scotland.

'Inhumane weapons'

"These weapons are not only inhumane, they are also illegal.

"It is time for politicians to stand up for change and although prison is unpleasant, sometimes it is necessary to take a stand on issues as important as this one."

The MSP's time in jail could be reduced to seven days for good behaviour and, because of Christmas arrangements, he should be released on Friday 22 December.

He can deal with it again and he'll go to prison again in future if he has to

Gail Sheridan
Sheridan has spent time in jail in the past.

In the early 1990s, as president of the Anti-Poll Tax Federation, he served six months behind bars for breaking an order for breaching a court order forbidding him to attend a warrant sale as part of a campaign against the poll tax.

Going to jail will not affect Sheridan's position as an MSP.

His wife Gail, 36, said she was backing her husband in his stand.

"I am supporting him 100%," she said.

"I'm not apprehensive, he's gone to prison before, he can deal with it again and he'll go to prison again in future if he has to."

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See also:

14 Nov 00 | Scotland
Jail looms for MSP
09 Oct 00 | Scotland
Trident 'legal' says Crown
10 May 00 | Scotland
Sheridan denies Trident charges
14 Feb 00 | Scotland
150 held in Trident protest
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