ALEX Salmond's former adviser said he needed to check on the "welfare" of a woman left alone with him.

Salmond, 65, has previously said a civil servant in the Scottish Government, known as Woman B, had "misremembered" an incident where she accused him of grabbing her and trying to kiss her following a meeting in Bute House in 2010.

Alexander Bell, 54, told the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday he had seen "nothing unusual" when he entered the room.

But Alex Prentice, for the Crown, asked him: "The first minister and (the complainer) were alone in the drawing room, you having left and gone downstairs. Did you consider it necessary to return to the room? What was your intention in returning to the room?"

Mr Bell said: "To ensure that the welfare of my colleague was okay."

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond "abused his power to satisfy his sexual desires with impunity," a court has heard.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC told the jury of nine women and six men: "The Crown's submission to you is this case is not about a plot and political conspiracy.

"It is about a powerful man who abused his power to satisfy his sexual desires with impunity.

"That it's hard to complain when you rely upon your abuser for opportunities and career development and when you are fully aware of an abuser's reach and control.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest Alex Salmond's conduct over the span of the charges was intimidating, humiliating, degrading and created an offensive environment.

"I suggest to you, ladies and gentlemen, the complainers in this case are courageous, brave women who spoke up to call out the abusive conduct of the former first minister."

Mr Prentice said the evidence shows a "cohesive, compelling and convincing course of conduct".

"Much has been made of Mr Salmond being a tactile person. I'm not entirely sure what that means," he told jurors.

He added: "As you consider all these incidents described, not looking at the evidence in isolation, you will see this course of conduct of seeking sexual gratification.

"I suggest this is an emerging pattern here. Brazen conduct. He did it because he could."

Describing another of the alleged assaults, Mr Prentice added: "What I suggest is an ongoing course of conduct.

"There is a common theme here - that of a sexual predator with escalating gravity."