Alex Salmond trial: Accuser denies encounter was consensual

Alex Salmond

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Mr Salmond has pled not guilty to all 14 of the charges against him

A former Scottish government official has denied ever having had a consensual sexual encounter with Alex Salmond.

Mr Salmond denies sexually assaulting the woman, known as Woman H, in May 2014 and attempting to rape her a month later.

Giving evidence for a third day at the High Court in Edinburgh, she said she had “never been a willing participant of Alex Salmond’s advances towards me”.

Mr Salmond denies a total of 14 sexual assault charges against 10 women.

He says he is innocent of all the allegations against him, which it is claimed happened while he was serving as Scotland’s first minister and the SNP leader.

Woman H has previously told the court that Mr Salmond “pounced on her” after a dinner at the first minister’s official Bute House residence in June 2014.

She alleged that he pulled her clothes off, pushed her onto a bed and then lay naked on top of her despite her protests.

Woman H has previously denied suggestions by defence lawyer Shelagh McCall QC that she was not at the dinner in June 2014, and that there was no incident.

On Wednesday morning, Ms McCall put it to the witness that the dinner in question had actually been at Bute House in August 2013, and had led to a consensual sexual encounter with Mr Salmond.

Woman H replied: “That’s not true. I have never been a willing participant in Alex Salmond’s advances towards me, and never will be.”

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PA Media

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Defence lawyer Shelagh McCall QC claimed that the witness had a consensual sexual encounter with Mr Salmond in 2013

Woman H denied suggestions by Ms McCall that she had started to unbutton Mr Salmond’s shirt as they were saying goodnight, kissed him and helped to pull his trousers down to his knees.

The witness insisted: “I spent a large part of that evening trying to dodge his advances.”

Ms McCall said the truth of the matter was that Mr Salmond’s underpants were not down, just his trousers, during the encounter.

But Woman H said: “Absolutely not, as I have got this horrific image of him being fully aroused and lying over me.”

Woman H also said that the evening had ended with Mr Salmond “passing out drunk, snoring, exhausted by his attempts to get me to sleep with him, which I kept saying no to”.

She denied that there had been a discussion with Mr Salmond about how she had got “carried away”, and that he had told her not to worry about it.

Mr Salmond has pled not guilty to one charge of attempted rape, one assault with intent to rape, 10 sexual assaults and two indecent assaults.

The offences are alleged to have happened at various locations in Scotland between June 2008 and November 2014.

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