Nova Scotia

British sailor Darren Smalley, accused of gang rape, can now leave Canada

A fourth British sailor, Darren Smalley, accused in the gang rape of a Canadian woman earlier this year in Halifax will be able to return home after appearing in Nova Scotia Provincial Court in Dartmouth Tuesday to vary his bail conditions.

WARNING: This story contains some graphic details previously reported

Darren Smalley, one of the four British sailors accused of gang rape while in Halifax for a hockey tournament this past spring, is now allowed to return home to the U.K. to await his next court appearance. (Facebook)

A fourth British sailor accused in the gang rape of a Canadian woman earlier this year in Halifax will be able to return home to await his next court appearance.

Darren Smalley, 35, appeared in Nova Scotia Provincial Court in Dartmouth Tuesday to vary his bail conditions.

In August, the other three sailors — Simon Radford, 31, Joshua Finbow, 23, and Craig Stoner, 25 — asked for changes to their bail terms.

All four sailors had been staying at CFB Suffield in Alberta, where there is a British army training unit since shortly after they were charged.

As is the case of the other three permitted to leave Canada, Smalley had to agree to surrender his British passport to the Royal Navy once he is back in the U.K. He also had to agree to authorize the British Navy to report any attempts by him to get his passport returned, unless it was to return to Canada for court dates.

Like his co-accused, Smalley must report by phone to the Nova Scotia court every Friday. All of them must return to Canada five days before their next court date.

The preliminary inquiry is set for April 2016 and they have not yet entered pleas.

A publication ban prevents the details of the bail hearing from being reported. The complainant's identity is also protected by a ban.

None of the allegations against the four men has been tested in court.

Case history

According to court documents obtained by CBC News, the victim told a police investigator she fell unconscious following a night of drinking at military barracks near Halifax in April and woke up to find she was being raped while photos were snapped.

The court document also contains summaries of statements made by two of the accused sailors, including one who says there was oral sex and other sexual activity with the woman, but that everything was consensual.

The four sailors were in Nova Scotia for a hockey tournament.

On April 10, the woman went to her family doctor and told her she'd been sexually assaulted the night before, according to the court document used to obtain a warrant for the sailors's DNA. The doctor took the woman to a hospital in Halifax, where she was examined.

That examination found signs of forced intercourse and bruises on the woman's groin, left shoulder and left inner knee, according to court documents.

A summary of the woman's statement to police said, "She woke up fully unclothed face down in the bed, and remembered unidentified male silhouettes surrounding her, forcing non-consensual unprotected vaginal intercourse and non-consensual oral intercourse.

"She went unconscious again, later awaking to continued non-consensual forced vaginal intercourse followed by sounds of laughter and remembered light flashing from what she believes could be a camera."

Military police also interviewed witnesses. Several said the alleged victim was flirty earlier in the evening and was overheard suggesting she wanted to have sex with the hockey team.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca

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