Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

MSP Bill Walker 'frightened ex wife with airgun'

Bill Walker at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Image caption Mr Walker denies all 23 charges against him

An MSP leapt into his former wife's home brandishing an airgun, a court has heard.

Bill Walker's second wife, Anne Gruber, said she got "the fright of her life" when he turned up uninvited with the weapon.

She said she had been out for a birthday meal with another man that day.

The independent MSP for Dunfermline denies 23 charges of assault against four women over a 28-year period.

He has also been charged with breaching the peace with an air rifle.

He has claimed self defence in three of the charges.

Mrs Gruber, 71, told Edinburgh Sheriff Court she moved with her children to an address in Liberton, Edinburgh, in 1978, after the couple separated.

She said she was sitting in the living room chatting to her friend when her dog began behaving strangely at the window.

'Shooting pigeons'

She said: "I opened the French window. Mr Walker jumped in with an airgun, which I recognised as a gun he used to use for shooting the pigeons.

"I got the fright of my life."

Mrs Gruber told fiscal depute Les Brown she could not remember her ex-husband saying anything.

"I just ran to the phone and phoned the police and he disappeared and so did my friend.

She said Mr Walker, also 71, from Alloa in Clackmannanshire, must have climbed over the fence to get into the property.

Ms Gruber told the court that Walker once threw an empty wine bottle at her at the address.

"He has a very quick temper and some minor thing would trigger off great anger and violence," she said.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Walker abused four women at addresses in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian, and Alloa between January 1967 and January 1995.

The four women named in court documents are Maureen Traquair, Anne Walker, Anne Louise Paterson and Diana Walker.

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