Nova Scotia

British sailors charged in gang rape can leave Nova Scotia

Three of the four British sailors accused in the gang rape of a Canadian woman earlier this year in Halifax will be able to return home until they are required next to appear in court.

Simon Radford, Joshua Finbow, Craig Stoner must return to Canada for preliminary hearing

Three British sailors accused of a gang rape are being allowed to return home until they are required to make another court appearance in Canada.

7 years ago
Duration 2:15
Three of the 4 British sailors accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Halifax released on $10K bail

Three of the four British sailors accused in the gang rape of a Canadian woman earlier this year in Halifax will be able to return home to await their next court appearance.

Justice Josh Arnold announced his decision in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The men are being released on $10,000 cash bail each — a $7,000 increase over their previous conditions. They must also stay away from the complainant.

Of the four accused sailors, Simon Radford, 31, Joshua Finbow, 23, and Craig Stoner, 25, asked for the changes to their bail terms. Darren Smalley, 35, did not. He will remain in Canada at CFB Suffield in Alberta, where there is a British army training unit.

They are all charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault committed with one or more person.

Radford, Finbow and Stoner agreed to a number of other terms outlined by Arnold.

They will get their passports back to travel to the U.K., but must surrender them to the Royal Navy upon arrival. They have been ordered to give the Royal Navy written consent to inform the Nova Scotia Supreme Court if they ask for their passports back, try to leave the navy, or move.

The three sailors must also report, by phone, to the Canadian courts every Friday, and 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.

"We take these things very seriously," Arnold told the accused before closing court.

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.

The CBC's Blair Rhodes was in court on Wednesday and live blogged the proceedings.

Sailors in city for hockey tournament

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' 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.