British sailor's sexual assault trial hears from police investigators
Darren Smalley, right, a British sailor charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm, walks outside the court room in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (Andrew Vaughan/ The Canadian Press)
By Aly Thomson, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018 12:19PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2018 7:28AM ADT
HALIFAX -- The trial of a British sailor accused in a gang rape at a Halifax-area military base heard Tuesday from the police officers who investigated the case.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Ian Hutchison, military police Sgt. Tyler Bruce-Hayes confirmed that sailor Darren Smalley was arrested and charged before police interviewed other members of the Royal Navy hockey team.
Hutchison also asked Bruce-Hayes if a hockey player had approached investigators with information "highly relevant to the police investigation."
"Do you recall (the team member) sharing information with the investigation team that he walked into room 1704 and a female was lying on the bed, saying words to the effect of 'You're just jealous you're not getting laid?"' Hutchison asked.
"Yes, that sounds familiar," said Bruce-Hayes, testifying by video link from an overseas deployment.
A young woman says she was sexually assaulted by at least three men in the barracks of 12 Wing Shearwater in April 2015.
Bruce-Hayes agreed the comment the witness says he heard was within the time frame of the alleged sexual assault, and said the witness was not interviewed until after Smalley was arrested.
The British men were in the Halifax area participating in a naval hockey tournament.
Bruce-Hayes also testified that he did not share information about the investigation to the complainant in the case, nor did another military officer who interviewed her for a second time.
The woman had earlier testified that a military police officer called to inform her about the results of toxicology and DNA reports, and told her that her story was consistent other people interviewed as part of the investigation.
Bruce-Hayes had begun his testimony at the trial in September, but it was not completed because Smalley's co-accused Simon Radford was admitted to hospital with a serious infection, delaying proceedings.
The charges against Radford have been stayed, but can be reinstituted within a year.
Smalley is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people.
The trial also heard Tuesday from Det. Const. James Wasson, a member of the Halifax Regional Police's forensic identification section who photographed the scene in the barracks.
He took the court through a number of photos of the barracks room where the alleged sexual assault happened, including one of what appeared to be semen stains on a bed.
Daniel Corneau, a civilian employee of the Defence Department who was a sergeant in the military police at the time of the alleged incident, testified that he performed extractions on cell phones in connection with the case.
Corneau said it appeared two images were deleted from one of the phones he examined. He was not able to recover the deleted images because he didn't have the software at the time to do that.
The court was not shown the photos that were extracted as part of the investigation, but images of people sitting inside a barracks room at the military base were shown earlier in the trial.
Two more witnesses are expected to testify Wednesday before the Crown concludes its case.
The case once involved four accused, but charges against two other sailors have been dropped.