TWO more women have told a court that Alex Salmond sexually assaulted them while he was first minister, saying they felt unable to complain at the time as he was so powerful.

One said she was “disgusted” by him touching her in a nightclub; the other said he touched her in a ministerial car, calling it “surreally awful”.

Woman A, a  Scottish Government official, and Woman C, an SNP politician, gave evidence on the third day of Mr Salmond’s trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Woman A told the jury of nine women and six men: “He was the most powerful man in the country. I had experienced volatile mood swings and behaviour from him and it was always easier to move away than risk infuriating or antagonising him.”

A third woman, Woman H, had previously told the court that Mr Salmond sexually assaulted her in May 2013 at Bute House and attempted to rape her there in June 2014.

Mr Salmond, 65, faces 14 charges, all of which he denies. 

The alleged incidents date from June 2008 to November 2014 and involve 10 women complainers.

The former SNP leader is accused of one count of attempted rape, one of sexual assault with intent to rape, 10 other counts of sexual assault, and two counts of indecent assault. 

He is accused of indecently assaulting Woman A on various occasions in Glasgow in June and July 2008, and of sexually assaulting her in an Edinburgh nightclub on an occasion in December 2010 or December 2011.

He is accused of sexually assaulting Woman C in a vehicle in 2011.

Woman A said she saw the then first minister nearly every day over a three-week period in mid-2008 in the course of her job. She said he would often greet with a kiss on the lips that made her feel “disgusted”.

Asked by advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, for the Crown, if she encouraged it, she said: “No, absolutely not. I was quite disgusted, embarrassed, quite humiliated by it.

“I didn’t know how to react to it.”

She said it happened around 10  times, but not if other people were “loitering around”.

Woman A said: “If he was coming to greet me he would put his hand on my shoulder, if he would go for the cheek he would move to one side.

“He would then kiss me on the lips, it was very sloppy, very unpleasant.”

She said that on three or four occasions Mr Salmond put his hand on her back and moved it so it was “on the side of my chest or on my bum”.

She said: “I took the view it was deliberately. I had been around politicians in public places and nobody else did it. There was no need for it.”

She said she began to carry a bag to make it harder for Mr Salmond to reach her.

Asked by Mr Prentice why she had not asked Mr Salmond to stop, she replied: “I liked my job, I didn’t know him very well and he was the most powerful man in the country.

“I didn’t know what would happen if I said ‘no’ or ‘get off’. I had experienced volatile mood swings and behaviour from him and it was always easier to move away than risk infuriating or antagonising him.

“I didn’t think of complaining. 

“Who do you complain to about the first minister? Who is more powerful than him?”

She said she did not tell anyone about the alleged behaviour.

Woman A went to describe an alleged incident in an Edinburgh nightclub.

She said Mr Salmond “ran his hands down the curve of my body, over my hips, commenting: ‘You look good, you’ve lost weight’.”

Asked if she wanted to be touched that way by him, she said: “No, not at all.”

She added: “I was disgusted. It took me back to the previous occasions where he had touched me. I was really surprised, it just came out of nowhere.

“I was disturbed he thought he could just do that. He put his hands initially at the top of my bra strap, and ran them down the curve of my breasts. It was quite a firm touch.”

Asked how she reacted, she said: “I didn’t know what to do. I was just shocked. I wanted to get away from him.”

She told the court she did not say anything at the time.

Gordon Jackson QC, who is leading Mr Salmond’s defence team, put it to Woman A that “the reality is these events, such as they were, were absolutely nothing, they were not distressing in any way, shape or form”.

Mr Jackson said “trivial things” had turned into criminal charges after newspaper reports emerged that Salmond was being investigated.

Woman A said: “I don’t decide what criminal charges are.”

Mr Jackson said: “It’s hardly groping – would you call that groping?”

She replied: “Yes. He touched my breast, my waist, my hips.”

Woman C later told the court she and her husband had met Mr Salmond in an Edinburgh restaurant in 2011 and he offered them a lift in a government car to Waverley Station.

She said Mr Salmond had suggested her husband sit in the front with the driver while she sat in the back with him.

She said:  “At some point in the journey Mr Salmond put his left hand on to my leg just above my knee.

“It wasn’t a kind of quick touch, maybe you’re chatting and the hand goes out and comes back, he had his hand there and it stayed there for the duration of the journey.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a touchy-feely person who would encourage that kind of behaviour.

“I was absolutely stunned that it had happened and that everyone else in the car was carrying on as usual.

“The first minister was someone I really looked up to and admired.”

She added: “I suppose when you look back at things you realise how much you excuse a person because of who they are.

“It’s so hard to explain how much he means or meant to our party. It’s because of who he is and what he was  –who on earth was I going to tell?”

When Shelagh McCall QC, for Mr Salmond, said the former First Minister denied touching Woman C’s leg, she said: “I absolutely wish that was the case because then I would not have to be here today.”

Earlier, Woman H, a former Scottish Government official, denied getting “carried away” and having a drunken consensual sexual encounter with Mr Salmond when he was first minister. 

The woman told the court she would “never” have been a willing participant in such a thing, and denied lying to the jury.

She said she had a “horrific image” of an exposed Mr Salmond leaning over her “fully aroused” in a bedroom at his official Bute House residence. Mr Salmond is accused of sexually assaulting Woman H in Bute House in May 2014 and attempting to her rape there after a dinner in June 2014.

Woman H has said the sexual assault took place after Mr Salmond invited her to drink shots in a sitting room, and the attempted rape took place after a dinner attended by a celebrity.

Ms McCall put it to Woman H that there had been a sexual encounter between her and Mr Salmond, but that it had been consensual and took place after a different Bute House dinner in 2013.

Ms McCall suggested both Woman H and Mr Salmond had partly undressed willingly after the 2013 dinner and then put their clothes back on after realising it had been “a mistake”.

Ms McCall went on: “What he says occurred was that you were both quite merry with alcohol and on that occasion there was an encounter between you.”

Woman H said she was clear the alleged attempted rape had been in 2014 and denied there had been a consensual encounter the previous year. 

Asked if she and Mr Salmond had discussed getting “carried away” and Mr Salmond said ‘Not to worry about it”, and that she then left Bute House, Woman H said: “That is not true.” 

Asked if she had been a “willing participant” in a consensual encounter in 2013, albeit one she regretted, Woman H said: “I would never be a willing participant in anything to do with Alex Salmond’s advances towards me and I never will be.”

Mr Prentice asked Woman H if she was lying to the jury when she said she had been at the Bute House dinner in June 2014. She said: “I’m not a liar.”

Mr Salmond’s defence team has suggested Woman H was not there. 

Later, the court saw a video recording of a guest at the June 2014 dinner giving a statement to police saying he believed he had met Woman H there.  

In a half-hour statement, the celebrity said there had been four for dinner - himself, Mr Salmond, a businesswoman and a woman he believed to be Woman H.  He said the evening was friendly and jovial and that no one had appeared worse for wear because of alcohol, with the four attendees sharing a single bottle of red wine.

He said the businesswoman left early, and when he left around 11pm, Mr Salmond and Woman H remained at Bute House.

He also said he had seen no sign of impropriety or disagreement that evening.

The trial before Lady Dorrian continues.