Bill Walker claims self defence in assault case

AN MSP who is facing 24 charges of assaulting four women over a 28-year period has claimed that he acted in self- defence in relation to three of the allegations.

Bill Walker MSP leapt into his former wife's home brandishing an airgun, Edinburgh Sheriff Court has head. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Bill Walker, 71, appeared at a procedural hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday in relation to the domestic abuse allegations.

Walker, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, is alleged to have attacked the women at various addresses in Scotland between January 1967 and January 1995.

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The independent MSP’s lawyer, solicitor advocate Gordon Martin, lodged a special defence of self-defence to three of the charges yesterday.

Walker, a former SNP member, sat in the dock taking notes of the proceedings, which were heard before Sheriff Katherine Mackie.

The MSP is alleged to have assaulted Maureen Traquair, Anne Walker, Anne Louise Paterson and Diana Walker, at addresses in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian and Alloa.

Walker, the MSP for Dunfermline, denies all charges.

Moments earlier, when the court clerk asked the politician at the start of the five-minute hearing whether he was William Walker, he replied: “Yes I am.”

During the hearing, the court also heard that prosecution lawyers and Mr Martin had agreed evidence in relation to the dates of the politician’s marriages and divorces.

The court also heard that the Crown was in the process of

citing a total of 24 witnesses. However, the court was also told that not all of the people cited would be called upon to give evidence.

Sheriff Mackie continued the case to a trial hearing, which will take place at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 8 July.