Woman tells Alex Salmond sexual assault trial the former Scottish first minister 'pounced' on her

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland correspondent Peter Smith

A woman said she felt “embarrassed and humiliated" after the former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond allegedly groped her at his official residence in Edinburgh, a court has heard.

The woman was speaking on the first day of the trial into allegations of sexual assault by Mr Salmond, where he faces 14 charges of alleged offences against 10 women, all of which he denies.

Giving evidence on Monday, she said the pair had been at the first minister’s official residence at Bute House in Edinburgh in May 2014, when he had touched her inappropriately.

"He was putting his hand down my top and kissing my neck, touching my legs,” she said.

Alex Salmond denies all the sexual assault allegations against him. Credit: PA

"He just groped me, I don't have another word for it.

"I froze inside, I verbally communicated that I wasn't happy, I said 'what are you doing, you shouldn't be doing this', and he found it funny.

"I was embarrassed and I felt humiliated, so no, I didn't speak to anybody because I felt that I had done something wrong almost and I didn't want people to know."

The woman said that on another night at Bute House in June 2014 Mr Salmond had again tried to kiss her and touched her legs and chest.

When she tried to get away, he became more "assertive" and tried to stop her before following her in a bedroom and "pouncing", she claimed.

She said: "He full on pounced.

"He was physically all over me, kissing me, he was taking my clothes off - it all happened really quickly."

The trial is being held in front of Judge Lady Dorrian and a jury. Credit: PA

The woman said that Mr Salmond had tried to take her clothes off and taken his own off before lying on top of her on the bed.

She added: "He was there on top of me, I was at the time trying to push myself to the back of the bed.

"He just laid over me.

"I kept saying to him 'what are you doing, stop' and he didn't.

"I felt like I was being hunted."

The woman said that in hindsight she wished she had called for help or tried to defend herself.

She added: "I was just so embarrassed that this was happening to me, I felt humiliated, but I was also scared and I wanted to get away and call someone.

"I wish in hindsight I had just screamed or kicked him in the nuts, but I was so frozen and just panicking inside."

The charges against Mr Salmond include one of attempted rape, 11 of sexual assault – including one with intent to rape – and two of indecent assault.

Mr Salmond’s lawyer Gordon Jackson QC has lodged special defences of consent for three alleged sexual assaults and an alleged indecent assault.

A special defence of alibi was claimed for a charge of sexual assault against a woman.

Judge Lady Dorrian earlier told the jury of nine women and six men they must be "impartial" during the trial.

The judge said the accused is a "very well known figure" and they should decide the case on the evidence heard in court and "nothing else".

She added: "The overriding requirement that you must satisfy is that of impartiality.

"If you think that there is any reason that you cannot be impartial you must inform the clerk.

"You cannot allow yourselves to be swayed by sympathy or prejudice."

Mr Salmond faces charges spanning a period between June 29, 2008, and November 11, 2014, with one sexual assault said to have taken place in the month of the Scottish independence referendum.

The trial, which is expected to last for four weeks, continues.