Alex Salmond trial LIVE: Woman H continues giving evidence against former first minister

Mr Salmond will return to the High Court in Edinburgh today for day two of his trial.

A former Scottish Government official has told a court she felt "hunted" by Alex Salmond moments before an alleged attempted rape in Bute House.

The former first minister of Scotland was at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday for the first day of his trial over accusations of sexual assault. Mr Salmond will return to court today.

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Alex Salmond trial: First day in full as witness alleges former first minister ‘...
Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond leaving the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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The woman was first to give evidence and spoke about two alleged incidents, including one charge of the 65-year-old trying to rape her in June 2014.

It is alleged the incident took place after a dinner at the first minister's official residence.

Mr Salmond pled not guilty to all 14 charges of sexual assault.Live updates from today's proceedings can be found below.

Alex Salmond trial LIVE: Second day at the High Court in Edinburgh

Key Events

  • Alex Salmond has arrived at the High Court in Edinburgh for the second day of his trial. It should get underway around 10:00
  • Woman H is continuing her evidence
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Witness H tells court: 'I was screaming inside but not outside'

The woman whom Alex Salmond is accused of attempting to rape has been asked why she did not escape while the former First Minister had his trousers round his ankles.

Defence co-counsel Shelagh McCall QC said the jury might be wondering how, in her description, Mr Salmond had managed to get all his clothes and all her clothes off without her being able to step away from him.

The witness, known as Woman H, said: "I just absolutely froze. I was screaming inside but not outside."

Ms McCall said: "There must have been a point where his trousers and pants were round his ankles and he was having to step out of them. Was that not an opportunity for you?"

Woman H said she had been pushed onto the bed.

"I could not tell you the exact sequence of how he undressed."

She said she just had images which kept replaying in her mind "over and over and over".

Woman H: "I wish I had. I was scared, I was embarrassed and humiliated."

Defence co-counsel Shelagh McCall QC asked the witness why she had not asked the security guard at Bute House for help after she claimed she was assaulted.

She said: "I wish I had. I was scared, I was embarrassed and humiliated.

" Looking back I wish I had screamed, I wish I had physically reacted, but I turned to stone. I just wanted to get away and for it to stop."

She said she did not want anyone to think she was having any physical or emotional relationship with Mr Salmond.

"I didn't want civil servants or security guards to gossip about that."

Cross examination begins on Woman H

The woman whom Alex Salmond is accused of raping has been challenged over the dates when she claims an earlier sexual assault took place.

Mr Salmond is charged with assaulting the former Scottish Government official one night in May 2014.

But Shelagh McCall QC, defence co-counsel for Mr Salmond, said the former First Minister was not in Bute House for 20 dates in May 2014.

She asked the witness, known as Woman H: "Isn't the truth that there was no incident in May?"

The witness replied: "I wish that was the truth."

The Alex Salmond trial has resumed after lunch.

Shelagh McCall QC, defence co-counsel for the former First Minister, is cross-examining the first witness, Woman H, whom he is accused of attempting to rape.

Court breaks for lunch

Woman H continues: "I didn't want anyone working with him to have what happened to me happen to them"

The court was shown a series of texts between the alleged victim, known as Woman H, and an SNP official in 2017 about the process for reporting misconduct.

She said she still did not go into detail. She said: "I had not really come to terms with what had happened.

" I didn't want anyone working with him to have what happened to me happen to them.

"I also wanted him to have it on his file since he was a former parliamentarian so it could be taken into serious consideration in terms of being fit for office."

Woman H tells the court: "At that time I was still very confused and scared"

The woman whom Alex Salmond is accused of attempting to rape has told the High Court of her caution in reporting the incident to anyone.

The former Scottish Government official said she had not even shared the details of the incident in June 2014 with her boyfriend, who is now her husband.

"I told him I thought I would have to speak to party headquarters about some bad things that had happened to me.

"At that time I was still very confused and scared and I wanted to feel secure about speaking to someone before I said anything. I was very cautious."

Asked why she was cautious, she said: "The First Minister is a very powerful man and I didn't want to get on the wrong side of him."

Woman H continues her evidence

The former Scottish Government official whom he is accused of attempting to rape, referred to as Woman H, is continuing her evidence.

Alex Prentice QC resumes Crown questioning of Woman H, who Alex Salmond is accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape.

RECAP: First day in full as witness alleges former first minister ‘hunted’ and sexually assaulted her

Yesterday, the first witness in the trial of Alex Salmond described how she was “hunted” and sexually assaulted by the former First Minister in two separate incidents in Bute House in the run up to the 2014 independence referendum.

The woman, who was a former Scottish Government official, told how Mr Salmond had “full on pounced” on her on two occasions. However she said she had not felt able to report what had happened as she “did not want to be considered to be one of his women”.

In the opening day of the trial, in which Mr Salmond pled not guilty to 14 charges of sexual assault, the witness - who gave evidence from behind a screen - described how she had been to Bute House for dinners, and had stayed late to “wrap up” the day’s events with the former SNP leader.

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