A man who named women who gave evidence against Alex Salmond has been jailed for six months.
Clive Thomson, 52, breached a strict court order which prohibited the identification of the complainers who gave evidence at the former first minister’s trial last year.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Thomson, of Rosyth, Fife, named the women on Twitter on two different occasions in August last year.
Lady Dorrian – the judge who presided over the trial which resulted in Salmond being acquitted of all charges – passed the order during trial.
Complainers in sexual assault cases cannot be publicly named in order to prevent their privacy being breached.
However, the defence industry worker ignored the order and named the women on the social media network.
The court heard that he knew that he wasn’t supposed to name the women but did so anyway.
He believed he was safe from prosecution because he was holidaying abroad at the time of one of the tweets.
The court also heard that he also sought advice from other Twitter users about how he could get around the court order.
On Thursday, defence advocate Mark Stewart QC urged Lady Dorrian, Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews not to send his client to prison.
But Lady Dorrian said what Thomson did was so wrong that jail was the only option available to the court.
She said: “It is a very serious matter. There are very good reasons why complainers in sexual offences cases are given anonymity.
“The protection is extended by convention to complainers in all cases – not just the one which we are concerned.
“It so happens that the protection in this case was backed up by a specific order by the court to underline the importance and you knew that this order had been made.”
Salmond was cleared of 13 charges of sexual assault earlier this year. A further charge of sexual assault had previously been dropped by prosecutors.
The former first minister had maintained his innocence throughout the two-week long trial which was held in March 2020.