Aug 22 2013
An MSP has been convicted of a string of domestic abuse charges spanning decades.
Bill Walker, 71, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, was found guilty of a catalogue of attacks against his three ex-wives and a step-daughter between 1967 and 1995.
The independent member for Dunfermline, who denied all the allegations against him, was convicted following a two-week trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Walker faced 23 charges of assault at addresses in Edinburgh, Stirling, Midlothian and Alloa, and one charge of breaching the peace. He was convicted of all of the charges spanning the 28-year period.
Sheriff Katherine Mackie, who heard the case without a jury, found Walker guilty of assaulting his first wife Maureen Traquair on three separate occasions in the 1960s and 1980s. On one occasion, he punched her in the face in the run-up to their wedding day in January 1967, giving her a black eye.
The MSP was further found to have assaulted his second wife Anne Gruber 15 times at various addresses in Edinburgh and Midlothian between 1978 and 1984. He also brandished an air rifle at her house, committing a breach of the peace, the court found.
The politician was convicted 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 was also found guilty of assaulting Mrs Gruber's daughter Anne Louise Paterson by repeatedly striking her on the head with a saucepan in 1978, injuring her. He claimed he acted in self-defence after being assaulted by his stepdaughter, who was then 16.
The MSP's behaviour was described by the prosecution as being "violent, domineering, controlling and relentless" over decades. He engaged in "systematic physical and emotional abuse" towards the women over a prolonged period of time, they said.
Walker will return to court on September 20 for sentencing.