British sailor's medical issue delays sex assault trial in Halifax
Darren Smalley, left, a British sailor charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm, heads from Supreme Court in Halifax on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
HALIFAX -- The trial for two British sailors accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Halifax-area military base was delayed Tuesday because one of the accused was in hospital.
Darren Smalley and Simon Radford are charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a group sexual assault in barracks at 12 Wing Shearwater in April 2015.
Their trial was scheduled to start Tuesday morning in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, but defence lawyer David Bright informed Justice Patrick Duncan that Radford was in hospital in Halifax.
Bright says his client was injured in the United Kingdom and suffered a torn artery, but he was not sure exactly why Radford was in hospital Tuesday.
He says Radford had undergone X-rays and blood work, and "he's been keeping in touch."
Duncan adjourned the trial until Wednesday.
Smalley, who is bald with a close-cropped beard, wore a dark suit and sat quietly during the proceedings Tuesday. He is being represented by lawyer Ian Hutchinson.
About six weeks have been set aside for the judge-alone trial.
Crown lawyer Eric Taylor told the court he expects to call about 12 witnesses, and that the lead investigator will testify first.
"(The investigator) will be tendering a number of exhibits that will be referred to by witnesses," said Taylor.
A pre-trial decision issued by Duncan says the men, members of the Royal Navy, were participating in a naval hockey tournament in Halifax in April 2015.
It says the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, reported to Halifax Regional Police that she was sexually assaulted.
The investigation was then reassigned to the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service.
Both Smalley and Radford are not in custody, but are under strict bail conditions.
The Crown had originally charged four men, but charges against two of the sailors have been dropped.
Several days into a preliminary inquiry in April 2016, charges were dropped against Craig Stoner, while charges against Joshua Finbow were withdrawn in December.
The Crown said the prospect of convicting Finbow became unrealistic after Duncan deemed his police statement inadmissible at trial.