Bill Walker: ‘Bride bruised in wedding photo’

Bill Walker MSP outside Edinburgh Sherrif Court. Picture: Toby Williams
Bill Walker MSP outside Edinburgh Sherrif Court. Picture: Toby Williams
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The former wife of an MSP has claimed a newly discovered wedding photograph shows the black eye he gave her two weeks before they got married.

Bill Walker’s first wife, Maureen Traquair, returned to Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday to give evidence for a second time after the photograph unexpectedly came to light.

She said the picture highlighted how her face was bruised on the day of their wedding in January 1967.

Mrs Traquair, 66, previously told the court she had to buy concealer after Walker punched her during an argument a fortnight before they wed.

The 71-year-old MSP for Dunfermline is accused of a string of attacks on his three ex-wives and a stepdaughter between 1967 and 1995.

His trial was adjourned on 12 July after five days of evidence and resumed yesterday.

The court heard that in the intervening period, Mrs Traquair’s sister had been searching for family photographs to jog the memory of their mother, who was in a care home suffering from dementia. Procurator-fiscal depute Les Brown said she had discovered the original black-and-white wedding picture by chance and had decided to hand it to the police.

Sheriff Katherine Mackie granted a Crown motion to recall Mrs Traquair to give additional evidence about the image after it was rediscovered. Mrs Traquair said she had been surprised to see the picture as she had destroyed her own photographs after divorcing Walker in 1970.

Evidence of the injuries she had sustained were clearly visible in the wedding photograph despite the concealer and foundation she had worn, she said.

Mrs Traquair said: “I can see the bruising that still remains from the wound that I got. It’s a dark colour.” She told the court her mother had arranged her veil so she could cover up the marks on her face during the wedding ceremony.

Mr Walker’s lawyer, solicitor advocate Gordon Martin, asked whether the marks could be “simply a shadow”.

But Mrs Traquair, who the court heard is an award-winning photographer, said there had been nothing present to cause such a shadow. She denied that the mark was a figment of her imagination. “Other people have seen it as well,” she said.

Mr Walker, who sits at Holyrood as an independent after losing the SNP whip, denies 23 charges of assault and one breach of the peace. The politician has denied all of the charges against him and has lodged special defences of self-defence to three of the charges he faces.

The alleged offences are said to have occurred between January 1967 and January 1995, and taken place in a range of locations in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian and Alloa, in Clackmannanshire. The trial is due to continue today.


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