THE two lawyers’ styles could not have been more different, but their message to the jury was the same: look at the pattern. 

Alex Prentice QC, for the prosecution, spoke in careful, precise sentences – a dream for those frantically taking notes – and addressed the jury with a quiet seriousness. 

Look at the evidence as a whole, he urged. What does it show?

This was not about plots or political conspiracies, he added, but about “a powerful man who abuses his power to satisfy his sexual desires with impunity”.

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“I suggest there is a common theme here, which is that of a sexual predator of escalating gravity,” Mr Prentice told the court.

He invited the jury to convict Alex Salmond of all charges.

Gordon Jackson QC, for the defence, put on more of a performance, with his gruff demeanour, irreverent asides and skew-whiff wig.

At times, during his summing up, the former Scottish Labour MSP for Glasgow Govan seemed to be addressing the media as much as the jury, casting glances towards the public gallery. 

He even took a pop at some of the coverage of the trial in the press – not that this stopped him from chatting away to journalists outside the courtroom, of course.

His speech was littered with colloquialisms, such as a reference to a “typical Glasgow tipsy wifey” who had accosted Mr Salmond at the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in Glasgow.

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“I don’t know if you know the Ubiquitous Chip,” he said to the jury. “I confess I know it only too well.” 

We could believe it.

Elsewhere, he referred to Mr Salmond’s claim to have had a “consensual sexual liaison” with one of his accusers, an alleged interaction Mr Jackson called “a bit of a footer”. 

There certainly is a pattern, he told the jury. But it wasn’t the one Mr Prentice wanted them to see. The allegations against Mr Salmond all came from within a “political bubble”.

“There’s something going on,” Mr Jackson said. “I can’t prove it but I can smell it. There’s something not right.”

Some of the evidence, he said, “absolutely stinks”. Whether the jury agreed or not, they certainly rejected Mr Prentice’s invitation to convict. Mr Salmond was cleared of all charges.