The widower of an MSP has been cleared of throttling his internet lover after she objected to his alleged bedhopping antics.
Robert Eadie, 74, was alleged to have launched a violent attack on St Andrews university PhD student Khadija Alia Bah-Wakefield (60) whom he had romanced after meeting her on a dating site earlier this year.
Eadie, whose Labour MSP wife Helen died in November 2013, turned up at Miss Wakefield’s home in St Andrews on a Sunday afternoon after returning from a trip to Russia.
Miss Wakefield told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court that after they had met she had resisted his attempts to sleep with her until she believed she could “trust” him and that the relationship was “going somewhere”.
But then he told her he had slept with another woman while on holiday.
Miss Wakefield told a court she had responded: “Was I just your black woman experience?
“He said ‘we met on a website - what do you expect?’ He then said something really upsetting and I reached out and slapped him.”
Mr Eadie’s lawyer claimed though that she had been far more forceful, and asked: “Did you in fact say ‘White pig, did you just want to be with an African woman? Was I just an exotic f***?’”
Miss Wakefield replied: “I would never use such language – I am too educated for that.”
That sparked an altercation that she alleged involved him pushing her, grabbing her by the neck and pinning her down.
She added: “I was biting at him because I couldn’t breathe - I thought he was going to kill me. I wasn’t thinking straight after he stopped and I went outside and smashed up a car with a stool and a stone.
“I didn’t realise - but it was actually my neighbour’s car. Then I saw his car and I smashed the window.”
But Mr Eadie’s lawyer claimed there had only been a struggle after she blocked his path to the front door as he tried to leave.
Miss Wakefield admitted she had slapped Mr Eadie before smashing up the car.
MDefence solicitor David Bell said Mr Eadie had gone to Miss Wakefield’s home after going to church in the morning – and put it to her that there had only been a small struggle because she had blocked his path to the door as he went to exit.
She insisted: “No, he grabbed me.”
Eadie denied the charge that he had assaulted Miss Wakefield and his lawyers said there had been no violent attack – and that he had in fact been hit by Miss Wakefield during the incident as he tried to leave the house.
Eadie, 74, of Hopeward Mews, Dalgety Bay, Fife, denied charges of assault and behaving in a threatening and abusive manner in West Grange Steadings in July this year.
Summary Sheriff David Griffiths found Eadie not guilty following a one-day trial.
Helen Eadie died in November 2013 following a short battle with cancer. She was survived by husband Robert and two daughters.
An MSP from the inception of the Scottish Parliament until her death, she was widely respected in the Holyrood chamber and was said to have been conducting parliamentary business from her hospital bed just days before her death.