Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh today Alex Salmond has denied attempting to rape a woman at
Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh today
Alex Salmond has denied attempting to rape a woman at Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, during the independence referendum campaign.
The 64-year-old appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh today to face allegations of offences against 10 women.
They include a charge of attempted rape, 11 of sexual assault – including one with intent to rape – and two of indecent assault.
The charges span a period between 2008 and 2014, with one sexual assault said to have taken place around the time of historic referendum.
The indictment alleges Salmond attempted to rape a woman at Bute House in Edinburgh in 2014.
It is alleged he placed her legs over his, repeatedly kissed her face and neck, groped her, then blocked her path.
Salmond is then said to have pinned her against a wall, pulled at her clothes and stripped himself naked before trying to rape her on a bed.
The former MP is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman with intent to rape in 2013.
He is alleged to have forced a woman to lie on his bed at the first minister’s official residence then pulled up her dress with intent to rape her.
Both incidents were said to have taken place between the date of the Edinburgh Agreement in 2012 and the day of the independence vote in 2014.
Mr Salmond spoke outside court today, insisting he is ‘innocent’ and will deny all charges
The charges against him were set out at a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh this morning
Meanwhile, the first of the charges involved incidents where Salmond allegedly indecently assaulted a woman by kissing her mouth and groping her on various occasions around Glasgow in the summer of 2008.
It is also alleged he sexually assaulted a woman on various occasions between 2011 and 2013 at the Scottish Parliament, Bute House and elsewhere by touching her bottom and stroking other parts of her body.
Salmond is also accused of taking off a woman’s shoe and trying to kiss her foot in 2013.
The indictment states that in 2014, Salmond grabbed a woman by her shoulders at Bute House, repeatedly kissed her face, tried to kiss her lips and touched her leg and face.
Several charges involved the accused allegedly groping women, including one incident at the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in Glasgow in 2012.
Gordon Jackson QC, representing Salmond, said his client denied the allegations.
Judge Lady Dorrian continued the preliminary hearing until January 22 and set a trial date for March 9, which is expected to last four weeks.
The 64-year-old was Scotland’s first minister from 2007 to 2014.
The result of the 2014 referendum – a 55% to 45% vote to stay in the UK – led to him stepping down as first minister and SNP leader.
Mr Salmond is appearing today on a series of sexual assault and attempted rape charges
Speaking to journalists outside the court in Edinburgh today, Salmond said: ‘I’m not permitted to say too much today save that we’ve launched our defence statement with the court.
‘It pleads not guilty to all charges and explains some of the circumstances in which they’ve come about.
‘I’m also conscious we’re in the middle of a General Election campaign; I’m not going to say anything which would influence that democratic process.
‘We’re now into a second year of court actions, first civil and now criminal – it’s over 10 months since we won the civil action.
‘I am innocent and I will defend my position vigorously, but the only place, the only proper place, to answer criminal charges is in this court and that’s exactly what we intend to do next spring.
‘I’d love to take your questions but you’ll understand that that’ll have to wait for another day, so if you forgive me I’m going to go with my legal team over to Parliament Hall for a consultation.’
What charges does Salmond face?
- Indecent assault of a woman in 2008 in Glasgow by kissing her on the mouth and touching her buttocks and breast with his hands over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of the same woman on an occasion in 2010 or 2011 at a nightclub in Edinburgh, by touching her arms and hips with his hands over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of the same woman in 2010 or 2011 at a nightclub in Edinburgh, by touching her arms and hips with his hands over her clothing.
- Indecent assault of a woman in 2010 at Bute House in Edinburgh by repeatedly seizing her by her wrists and repeatedly pulling her towards him and attempting to kiss her.
- Sexual assault of a woman in a car in Edinburgh in 2011 by touching her leg with his hand over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of a woman on various occasions between 2011 and 2013 at Bute House by touching her buttocks with his hands over her clothing, stroking her arms, and touching and stroking her hair.
- Sexual assault of a woman in 2013 at Bute House by removing her foot from her shoe, stroking her foot, lifting her foot towards his mouth and attempting to kiss her foot.
- Sexual assault of a woman in 2013 at Bute House by kissing her on the mouth.
- Intent to rape of the same woman on an occasion in 2013 at Bute House by causing her to sit on a bed, lie on top of her, make sexual remarks to her, touch her buttocks, thighs and breasts over her clothing with his hands, repeatedly kiss her face, struggle with her and pull up her dress.
- Sexual assault of a woman in 2012 at Ubiquitous Chip, a restaurant in Glasgow, by touching her buttocks with his hand over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of the same woman in April 2014 at Bute House by placing his arm around her, making sexual remarks to her and attempting to kiss her.
- Sexual assault of a woman in 2014 at Bute House by placing his arm around her body, placing his hand under her clothing and underwear and touching her breast, repeatedly kissing her on the face and neck and stroking her leg with his hand.
- Attempted rape of the same woman on an occasion in 2014 at Bute House by lifting her legs and placing them over his legs, repeatedly kissing her on the face and neck, placing his hand inside her upper clothing and touching her breast over her underwear, repeatedly blocking her path, pinning her against a wall, pulling at her clothing and underwear, removing his clothing and underwear, pushing her on to a bed, kneeling over her, pinning her to the bed by her shoulder, lying naked on top of her and then trying to rape her.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in 2014 at Bute House by seizing her by her shoulders, repeatedly kissing her on the face, attempting to kiss her on the lips, and touching her leg and face with his hand.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in 2014 at Stirling Castle by touching her buttock with his hand over her clothing.