FENDING off Alex Salmond was like ‘wrestling an octopus’, one alleged victim told his trial yesterday.
The civil servant said she was assaulted by Salmond, when he was Scottish first minister, after a meeting in 2010 at his official residence, Bute House. ‘It felt like every time I managed to get a hand off, another hand would appear,’ the witness identified as Woman B told the jury.
‘He was very persistent and it felt like I was wrestling with an octopus.’
Woman B was asked about a Christmas card sent out by Salmond and his wife in 2010, featuring a man and a woman set to kiss under the mistletoe.
‘There (were) two individuals on the Christmas card — the older male and a younger female, who was quite scantily clad,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think it was an appropriate image.’ She raised her reservations about the card being ‘too sexualised’ with Salmond and others.
The court heard all parties agreed it was inappropriate. But the civil servant said she was assaulted when she was left alone with Salmond. ‘He immediately just said “Let’s recreate the pose on the Christmas card”,’ she added. ‘He grabbed my wrists and pulled me towards him and I was just shocked.’
Shelagh McCall QC, who is defending Salmond, asked if Woman B would describe the incident as ‘high jinks’. She said: ‘I certainly didn’t take it that way.’
Salmond, 65, faces 13 charges of alleged offences against nine women, all of which he denies. He was acquitted of one charge of sexual assault yesterday after the Crown offered no evidence. The trial continues.