Alex Salmond trial: Woman denies making up attempted rape claim

Day three of former First Minister Alex Salmond's trial on sex charges has got under way at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The first witness, Woman H, whom Mr Salmond is accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape, is being cross examined for the defence by Shelagh McCall QC.

Mr Salmond denies all the charges against him.

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Giving evidence on the third day of the trial, she said: "I have never been a willing participant of Alex Salmond's advances towards me."

Former First Minister Alex Salmond leaves Edinburgh High Court on day two of his trial. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Shelagh McCall QC, representing Salmond, said the pair had a consensual sexual encounter at Bute House in August 2013.

She added: "Mr Salmond says he did have an encounter with you, of a sexual nature with you, but it was in August 2013."

Ms McCall asked the woman if she had unbuttoned Salmond's shirt and kissed him in a bedroom in Bute House before taking down his trousers.

She said: "When you went into the Connery bedroom and Mr Salmond followed you in, did you start to unbutton Mr Salmond's shirt?

"Did you kiss him and he kiss you back?

"Did you undo your trousers? Did you help pull his trousers down towards his knees?

"Because is the truth of the matter that Mr Salmond's underpants were not down, just his trousers, during this encounter."

But the woman said: "Absolutely not, as I have got this horrific image of him being fully aroused and lying over me."Ms McCall said the encounter had ended when the woman said to Salmond that she had not "meant this to happen".

She added: "I am putting to you that's exactly what you said at that point.

"The two of you sat up, put your clothes back on, realised it was a mistake."

But the woman said: "Absolutely not, it sounds a much better ending of an evening than what actually happened."

Ms McCall said the woman had been "embarrassed and upset" but Salmond told her not to worry.

But the woman said: "That's not true."Mr Salmond has pled not guilty to all 14 charges.

The trial continues.