Nova Scotia woman suing British government over alleged rape

A woman who says she was raped by members of a British Navy hockey team has launched a civil lawsuit against the government of Great Britain.

Complainant says British government should be held vicariously liable for alleged assault and its consequences

The alleged assault happened at CFB Shearwater in Eastern Passage, N.S. (CBC)

A Nova Scotia woman who says she was raped by members of a British Navy hockey team has launched a civil lawsuit against the government of Great Britain.

Papers initiating the lawsuit were filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court last week.

Four British sailors who were in Dartmouth to play in a military hockey tournament were charged with sex offences. The Crown alleged all four assaulted the woman in barracks at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Eastern Passage, N.S., in April 2015.

As the criminal case inches closer to trial, charges against two of the sailors have been withdrawn.

Darren Smalley and Simon Radford still face charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm. They are scheduled to go to trial in September.

In her civil lawsuit, the woman alleges that since the men were employed by the British Navy and are having their legal defence funded by the British government — including transportation to and from Britain — the government should be held vicariously liable for the alleged assault and its consequences.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and the British government has yet to respond to the civil action.

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.