• Home »
  • Big stories »
  • Advocate self-refers to watchdog after being overheard discussing client's trial on train

30 March 2020

Advocate self-refers to watchdog after being overheard discussing client's trial on train

Top Scottish trial lawyer denies regarding former Scotland first minister Alex Salmond as a 'sex pest' after release of video

Pic of Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond: Gordon Jackson QC denies regarding the former Scotland first minister as a 'sex pest' Shutterstock

A leading advocate has referred himself to Scotland's legal complaints body after a video was published of him apparently making disparaging remarks about his high-profile client on a train, mid-way through a sexual assault trial.

Gordon Jackson QC was also overheard naming two of the accusers in the trial of Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP and first minister of Scotland, despite rules guarding their anonymity, according to The Sunday Times newspaper.

Salmond was found not guilty last week of 12 charges of sexual assault, while another was not proven.

In the video Jackson, who is head of the Faculty of Advocates, the Scottish advocates’ representative body, could be heard saying “a sex pest but he’s not charged with that” in what appeared to be a reference to Salmond, according to The Sunday Times, which published the video over the weekend.

He is also overheard discussing the tactics he intends to deploy to discredit evidence against his client.

The newspaper said the conversation was filmed by a commuter on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train in the first week of the trial.

In a statement released yesterday on Twitter, by the Faculty of Advocates, Jackson said: “I have decided that the proper course of action is to self-refer this matter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), and that has been done. It will be for the commission to consider this matter.

“To be clear, however, I do not regard Alex Salmond as a ‘sex pest’, and any contrary impression is wrong. I also deeply regret the distress and difficulties which have been caused, but given the reference to the SLCC it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Roddy Dunlop QC, vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates, added: “The faculty takes this matter extremely seriously. It plainly warrants investigation, but as the dean has self-referred to the SLCC it would not be appropriate for the Faculty to comment further.”

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com