Ex-MSP Walker's Appeal Rejected
Judges have rejected former MSP Bill Walker's appeal against his conviction for domestic abuse offences.
Walker was jailed for 12 months last September after being found guilty of 23 assaults and one breach of the peace against three former wives and his stepdaughter which spanned decades.
Three judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh refused his appeal against two assaults on his first wife, Maureen Traquair, in 1967 and 1969.
They rejected a submission which argued that these offences were not sufficient in terms of "time, character and circumstance'' in order for mutual corroboration to be applied.
The rest of the offences took place from 1978 onwards, meaning there was a "very large gap'' between these offences and later ones, the Appeal Court heard.
Following a short adjournment, Lady Dorian said: "The only issue which arises in this appeal is whether there was sufficient circumstances of similarity between evidence in charges one and two for the doctrine of mutual corroboration to be applied.
"Leave to appeal on other charges was refused at the first sift.''
Lady Dorian said the judges took the view that it was "entirely artificial to seek to compartmentalise evidence'' in relation to the two earliest offences and the later ones.
Sheriff Kathrine Mackie, who heard the two-week trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last year, found Walker guilty of assaulting Ms Traquair, on three separate occasions in the 1960s and 1980s.
On one occasion he punched her in the face, giving her a black eye two weeks before they married in January 1967.
He was convicted of assaulting his second wife, Anne Gruber, 15 times between 1978 and 1984. On various occasions Mrs Gruber was punched, slapped, kicked and pushed to the ground.
He spat on her face, threw household items at her, threatened to pour hot coffee over her and pulled her hair. He also breached the peace by leaping into Mrs Gruber's home brandishing an air rifle.
Walker, of Alloa in Clackmannanshire, was also found guilty of assaulting and injuring Mrs Gruber's 16-year-old daughter, Anne Louise Paterson, by repeatedly striking her on the head with a saucepan in 1978.
The disgraced former politician was also found guilty of four assaults on his third wife, Diana Walker, three of which involved slapping or punching her on the face. The attacks happened between June 1988 and January 1995.
Walker's crimes were committed at addresses in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian and Alloa between 1967 and 1995.
The 72-year-old was released from Dumfries Prison last month after serving six months of his sentence. He was not in court for today's hearing.
The former SNP MSP, who was suspended and later expelled from the party after the allegations surfaced in March 2012, denied all the charges.
He claimed he was the victim of ''smearing'' and that his ex-wives colluded to accuse him of domestic violence.