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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August, 2003, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Freed Sheridan remains defiant
Tommy Sheridan - library
Mr Sheridan said his protests will continue
The Scottish Socialist Party leader has emerged from prison in defiant mood after serving a jail term following his role in an anti-nuclear protest.

Tommy said he would be prepared to go to prison again to "make a stand" for what he believes in.

He was sent to jail for seven days at Glasgow District Court on Monday after refusing to pay a fine for his role in an anti-Trident protest last year at the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde.

However, the Glasgow region MSP was released from Barlinnie Prison on Thursday morning to cheers from his supporters.

The biggest waste of taxpayers' money is the 1.5bn a year that we spend on the maintenance of weapons of mass destruction in Faslane
Tommy Sheridan
SSP leader
He said: "I don't think jail is a pleasant place to be and I would not encourage anybody to get themselves into a position where they go to prison.

"But sometimes you have to make a stand on certain issues and this is one issue you have to make a stand on, so I will be involved in future anti-nuclear protests."

Mr Sheridan rejected criticisms from opponents of placing an additional burden on the criminal justice system and of wasting taxpayers' money.

He said: "I think it is the height of hypocrisy for anyone to accuse me of wasting taxpayers money when I am in there in protest at the waste of taxpayers' money.

Warrant sales

"The biggest waste of taxpayers' money is the 1.5bn a year that we spend on the maintenance of weapons of mass destruction in Faslane."

Mr Sheridan thanked prison officers for "their professional conduct and assistance" during his short stay.

"Can I also thank the fellow prisoners for their solid support and help," he said.

Mr Sheridan has already served one previous jail term following an anti-nuclear protest and was jailed on two occasions after protests about poindings and warrant sales.

Among those greeting him at Barlinnie on Thursday were his wife Gail, mother Alice and father-in-law Gus Healy.

Mr Healy, 66, was taken to the cells at the court on Monday after raising a clenched fist in support of Mr Sheridan.

He said: "I was there for a couple of hours and I got a wee ticking off. But I'm 100% behind Tommy."

Sheridan jailed after protest
25 Aug 03  |  Scotland
MSP guilty of Trident protest
10 Jun 03  |  Scotland
Scottish Socialists make gains
02 May 03  |  Scotland
CV: Tommy Sheridan
02 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Crown fails in Sheridan appeal
09 Oct 02  |  Scotland
MSP cleared of nuclear base protest
25 Jun 02  |  Scotland

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