Alex Salmond ‘was a bully’ says Scotland’s most senior QC who represented him in court, as women who accused ex-leader of SNP of sex assaults reveal they are ‘devastated’ he was not convicted
- Gordon Jackson QC said: ‘I don’t know much about politicians but he was a bully’
- Video was allegedly filmed during the first week of Salmond’s sexual assault trial
- Jackson also identifies alleged victims of sexual assault, despite court orders
Alex Salmond’s own lawyer has been caught on camera calling the former SNP leader a ‘bully’ and identifying two of his alleged sexual assault victims.
Gordon Jackson QC, 71, Scotland’s most senior QC, was filmed on an Edinburgh-Glasgow train while publicly discussing the high-profile sexual assault case.
Salmond, 65, was cleared on Monday of the 13 charges he had been facing – including an allegation of attempted rape – by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Gordon Jackson QC, 71, (pictured with Alex Salmond after his not-guilty verdict) Scotland’s most senior QC, was filmed on an Edinburgh-Glasgow train while publicly discussing the high-profile sexual assault case
In the video, allegedly filmed during the first week of Salmond’s trial and leaked to the Sunday Times, Jackson was heard talking about his client and saying: ‘I don’t know much about senior politicians, but he was quite a…bully to work with.’
He went on to say Salmond was: ‘Inappropriate, a******e, stupid… but sexual? Sex offender register? Not for you.’
The leaked video was released on the same day Salmond’s nine alleged victims published a statement revealing they are ‘devastated’ with his not-guilty verdict.
In the video, Jackson goes on to identify two of Salmond’s alleged victims, despite strict court orders in place to protect the anonymity of people in reported sex offence cases.
In the video, allegedly filmed during the first week of Salmond’s trial, Jackson was heard talking about his client and saying: ‘I don’t know much about senior politicians, but he was quite a…bully to work with
He continued to speak of one of the women in disparaging terms, saying he wanted to ‘put a smell on her’ – implying he wanted to tarnish her reputation so the jury wouldn’t believe her testimony.
Jackson’s actions seem to go against the code of conduct for the Faculty of Advocates that he has led since 2016.
It says actions must not ‘impair the trust and confidence which others place in him and his profession’, and that an advocate must ‘respect the confidentiality of all information that becomes known to him in the course of his professional activity’.
The nine women insisted they will not let the former first minister being acquitted define them – saying they hope their experience can lead to improved understanding of sexual harassment and assault.
They also said that while the experience of taking the case to court had been ‘traumatic’, it had been the ‘right thing to do’.
Salmond, 65, was cleared on Monday of the 13 charges he had been facing – including an allegation of attempted rape – by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh
In a joint statement, the nine women said: ‘While we are devastated by the verdict, we will not let it define us.
Their statement, issued by the charity Rape Crisis Scotland today, said: ‘Today we want to send a strong and indisputable message that such behaviours should not be tolerated – by any person, in any position, under any circumstances.’
The complainants, who were identified in the trial only as Woman A, Woman B, Woman C, Woman D, Woman F, Woman G, Woman H, Woman J, and Woman K, said: ‘The jury has delivered a majority verdict on the charges brought against the former first minister.
‘We are devastated by the verdict. However it is our fervent hope that as a society we can move forward in our understanding of sexual harassment and sexual assault.’
Jackson’s actions seem to go against the code of conduct for the Faculty of Advocates that he has led since 2016
They recalled that Jackson had quoted Woman H and said ‘his client should have been a ”better man”.’
In her evidence to the court, Woman H said: ‘I wish for my life the first minister was a better man and I was not here.’
And Mr Jackson told the jury: ‘If in some ways the former first minister had been a better man, I wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be here, none of us would be here.’
In his closing speech, the lawyer claimed the case against the former first minister ‘stinks’ saying it comes from ‘this political bubble with no real independent support’.
A Rape Crisis Scotland spokesman commented on the leaked video today, saying: ‘Protecting the anonymity of all people who report sexual crimes is of critical importance and is one of few reassurances that can be offered as part of an otherwise daunting and intimidating process.
‘For this to be undermined by such a senior lawyer in a public place in such a high-profile trial is horrifying and completely unacceptable.
‘Jackson is Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and we cannot see how this behaviour – caught on film – is in keeping with the Faculty of Advocate’s own guidance on conduct.
‘There should be an immediate investigation.
‘One of the most chilling aspects of this is Jackson’s statement about his strategy for the cross examination of one of the women in the trial: ”All I need to do is put a smell on her.”
‘This statement alone confirms the fears of many, many survivors who do not report for fear of what would be done to them in court. Trials should be based on evidence, not on smears and attacks on character. We need an urgent overhaul of how these cases are dealt with.’
Salmond and Jackson have been contacted for comment.
What was Alex Salmond charged with?
- Indecent assault of a woman on various occasions in June and July 2008 in Glasgow by kissing her on the mouth and touching her buttocks and breast with his hands over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of the same woman on an occasion in December 2010 at Ego, a nightclub in Edinburgh, by touching her arms, breasts and hips with his hands over her clothing.
- Indecent assault of a woman on an occasion between October and November 2010 at Bute House in Edinburgh by repeatedly seizing her by her wrists and repeatedly pulling her towards him and attempting to kiss her.
- Sexual assault of a woman in a car travelling between Holyrood Road and Waverley Station in Edinburgh on an occasion in February 2011 by touching her leg with his hand over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of a woman on various occasions between May 2011 and June 2013 at Bute House, at the Scottish Parliament and elsewhere by touching her buttocks with his hands over her clothing, and touching and stroking her hair.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion between November and December 2013 at Bute House by kissing her on the mouth.
- Intent to rape of the same woman on an occasion in December 2013 at Bute House by causing her to sit on a bed, lie on top of her, make sexual remarks to her, touch her buttocks, thighs and breasts over her clothing with his hands, repeatedly kiss her face, struggle with her and pull up her dress.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in March 2012 at Ubiquitous Chip, a restaurant in Ashton Lane, Glasgow, by touching her buttocks with his hand over her clothing.
- Sexual assault of the same woman on an occasion in April 2014 at Bute House by placing his arm around her, making sexual remarks to her and attempting to kiss her.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in May 2014 at Bute House by placing his arm around her body, placing his hand under her clothing and underwear and touching her breast, repeatedly kissing her on the face and neck and stroking her leg with his hand.
- Attempted rape of the same woman on an occasion in June 2014 at Bute House by lifting her legs and placing them over his legs, repeatedly kissing her on the face and neck, placing his hand inside her upper clothing and touching her breast over her underwear, repeatedly blocking her path, pinning her against a wall, removing his clothing and underwear, pushing her on to a bed, kneeling over her, pinning her to the bed by her shoulder, lying naked on top of her and then trying to rape her.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in September 2014 at Bute House by seizing her by her shoulders, repeatedly kissing her on the face, attempting to kiss her on the lips, and touching her leg and face with his hand.
- Sexual assault of a woman on an occasion in November 2014 at Stirling Castle by touching her buttock with his hand over her clothing.
Salmond denies the charges and pleaded not guilty.
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