Salmond complaint to police was my own decision, alleged victim tells court

A former Scottish Government official who has accused Alex Salmond of sexual assault has said no-one was “cheerleading” her to make a complaint against him.

The former first minister of Scotland is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh over accusations of sexual assault.

The woman, who is the first to give evidence, has spoken about two alleged incidents, including one charge that the 65-year-old tried to rape her in June 2014.

Bute House
Bute House

Shelagh McCall QC, representing Salmond, asked on Tuesday whether the woman had been encouraged to speak to Police Scotland after reports emerged in August 2018 that he was being investigated.

The court heard she had been in contact with a number of people before making contact with police.

She said: “There’s no-one cheerleading me to do this. This isn’t fun, I would rather not be here.

“I don’t feel like I have been encouraged, I feel I have made this decision on my own.”

It was also heard she had been in contact with someone in 2015 about a personal political project in which she said she would work with Salmond again, around a year after the alleged sexual assaults were said to take place.

The witness, known as Woman H, earlier told the court she began to suffer flashbacks after the Harvey Weinstein scandal emerged.

She said: “I had started to learn about (the MeToo movement), yes. It was just around that time.

“It was on the back of the Harvey Weinstein case.

“These issues started to be discussed and I started to have what I could describe as flashbacks.”

The woman previously told the court on Monday that she felt “hunted” by Salmond moments before an alleged attempted rape in Bute House.

Evidence was also given about an alleged sexual assault in Bute House beforehand in May 2014.

Salmond faces 14 charges of alleged offences against 10 women, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to.

The charges span 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 in September 2014.

The trial, before judge Lady Dorrian, continues.