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Ex-MSP Bill Walker Jailed For Attacks On Family
Former MSP Bill Walker has been jailed for 12 months for a string of attacks on his three ex-wives and a stepdaughter.
The 71-year-old was convicted of 23 charges of domestic abuse last month but held onto his Dunfermline seat for 16 days before submitting his resignation to the Scottish Parliament.
Walker assaulted his first wife, Maureen Traquair, three times in the 1960s and 1980s, on one occasion punching her in the face two weeks before their wedding day.
He attacked his second wife Anne Gruber 15 times between 1978 and 1984, punching, slapping and kicking her and threatening to scald her with hot coffee.
He also assaulted Mrs Gruber's 16-year-old daughter Anne Louise Paterson by repeatedly striking her on the head with a saucepan during a row over a trifle in 1978, and attacked his third wife Diana Walker four times between 1988 and 1995.
Walker, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, denied the charges, claiming he had acted in self-defence in relation to three of them and was the victim of a smear campaign.
However, Sheriff Kathrine Mackie told him he was "controlling, domineering, demeaning and belittling" towards his former wives.
Passing sentence, she said: "Your incredulity at being convicted of these offences and your perceived victimisation are further indications of your abdication of responsibility for your behaviour.
"You have shown what can only be described as contempt for your former wives and your stepdaughter in the derogatory manner in which you refer to them.
"I formed the opinion that you have no understanding of the impact of domestic abuse on victims or children.
"I have been unable to detect, either during the trial or in the reports, any evidence of remorse for anything or anyone except yourself."
Walker was also convicted of breaching the peace for brandishing an air rifle at Mrs Gruber's house after she went out for a birthday meal with another man.
He was suspended and expelled from the Scottish National Party after revelations about the abuse surfaced in a Sunday newspaper last year.
Walker's solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said he had hoped to round off a "distinguished life" by serving as an MSP but his reputation was now "in tatters".
"In fairness, it might be the man now before the court is different from the man who was spoken of by the various witnesses in court over the length of the trial," he said.