Alex Salmond jury retires to consider sexual assault verdicts

Alex Salmond’s lawyer has told jurors at the former first minister’s trial that the entire sexual assault and attempted rape case is “murky” and “smells bad”.

Gordon Jackson QC, Salmond’s defence advocate, told the jury of nine women and six men in Edinburgh they had to use their “rational minds” and acquit the former first minister of all 13 charges against him.

In his closing speech to the jury on Friday, Jackson said a “scary” pattern had emerged with all the allegations, some of which dated back 12 years. There were no direct witnesses to the alleged assaults, which include a charge of attempted rape and one of intent to rape.

Jackson apologised to the jury for saying earlier in the trial that some of the alleged offences were trivial, but said inconsistencies and contradictions cropped up repeatedly in the testimonies and evidence. And, he alleged, there were signs some of the charges were orchestrated.

“This comes out of a political bubble with no real independent support of any kind. I said already it smelled and I don’t apologise for that one bit,” he said, summing up the defence case after the two-week trial.

“I don’t care if you like him or you don’t like him. He was the Marmite man but I know he’s entitled to the law’s protection. He’s entitled not to be convicted of anything unless there’s clear evidence.

“It’s the same pattern all of the time,” he said, arguing that matters not deemed serious at the time had been inflated to […]

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