Bill Walker denies past has caught up with him

A MSP accused of a string of domestic abuse charges has rejected a suggestion he behaved like a “caveman” by domineering and controlling his three ex wives.
Bill Walker, the former SNP MSP. Picture: Neil HannaBill Walker, the former SNP MSP. Picture: Neil Hanna
Bill Walker, the former SNP MSP. Picture: Neil Hanna

Bill Walker also dismissed claims his “violent and abusive past” had “finally caught up” with him.

The politician spoke as he gave evidence for a third day at his trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

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The independent MSP for Dunfermline is accused of a string of attacks against his three former wives and a step-daughter between 1967 and 1995. He denies all the charges.

During cross questioning by procurator fiscal Les Brown, the prosecutor put it to the politician: “In general terms, is it not the case in respect of these proceedings that your violent and abusive past over decades has finally caught up with you?”

Mr Walker, 71, replied: “That’s completely wrong.”

Mr Brown went on: “All three of your ex wives, a full set of ex-wives, have been telling us the truth. Isn’t that right, Mr Walker?”

“They’ve not been telling the truth,” replied the MSP.

Concluding his questioning, Mr Brown said: “I further suggest your behaviour was domineering, controlling and relentless over years. To use your own words... this is caveman stuff. It was caveman stuff because you, Mr Walker, are a caveman.”

Mr Walker replied: “No I’m not,” adding that it was the accusations which were “caveman stuff”.

During a wide-ranging questioning session, he told the court he was “not a confrontational person”.

The politician’s current wife revealed in court that she contacted the police on one occasion to report that Walker pushed her during an “incident”.

June Walker said she did this after becoming “very angry” with him over his contact with another woman and the involvement of the police was intended to embarrass him.

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Police spoke to the MSP after the 2008 incident but the matter was not taken any further after Mrs Walker admitted she first kicked her husband in the shin during the exchange, the court heard.

Mrs Walker, 67, who has been married to the MSP for two years but has been in a relationship with him for 17 years, was giving evidence as part of the defence case during her husband’s trial.

Asked by solicitor advocate Gordon Martin, defending, whether she ever contacted the police, she replied: “Unfortunately I did once.”

She told the court that in 2008 she became aware that Walker was having a long-range relationship with a German woman.

The woman, who was involved in teaching, asked him to go to Germany to speak to her pupils and the MSP said he planned to do so, the court heard. Mrs Walker said she told him she was unhappy about this and that he would “have to make up (his) mind”.

Mrs Walker said she went away to Australia but on her return, Walker maintained that he simply had a friendship with the other woman; something she did not accept.

The witness described an occasion when she rushed to listen in on one of his phone calls but Walker realised what she was doing and “came running after me”.

Mrs Walker said she grabbed an object that the German woman gave him, with a view to destroying it, and Walker asked for it back.

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She told the court: “I said no. I kicked him in the shins. I believe I drew blood and he kind of pushed me off him. I was sort of punching and kicking.

“He pushed me and I was so incensed that I went outside and I was beside myself with rage, ‘No one’s treating me like that’. I got into my car and went down to the police station and said there had been an incident.”

The witness said she later agreed that she was happy to drop the matter after telling police she had struck Walker.

“I phoned the police and said I was very, very angry. It was a way of embarrassing him. At the time I apologised for wasting police time,” she told the court.

Mr Walker denies 23 charges of assault and one breach of the peace. He has lodged special defences of self-defence in relation to three of the charges.

The trial continues.