Vancouver Sun - - NP -

HAL­I­FAX • A Nova Sco­tia woman who al­leges she was gang raped by Bri­tish sailors is su­ing the U.K. gov­ern­ment, ar­gu­ing it should pay dam­ages for harm she suf­fered in the in­ci­dent.

Four men were orig­i­nally charged with sex­ual as­sault caus­ing bod­ily harm and par­tic­i­pat­ing in a group sex­ual as­sault in bar­racks at 12 Wing Shear­wa­ter on April 10, 2015.

Charges against two of the sailors have been dropped, with Dar­ren Smal­ley and Si­mon Rad­ford still set to go on trial in Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court in Hal­i­fax on Sept. 4.

The woman, whose name is banned from pub­li­ca­tion, says the Royal Navy bears re­spon­si­bil­ity for bring­ing the sailors to Canada and that she ini­tially trusted the men be­cause of their po­si­tions.

“That the de­fen­dant’s em­ploy­ees made them­selves known as mem­bers of the Royal Navy made the plain­tiff feel safe in ac­cept­ing this of­fer and be­ing in their pres­ence,” says the court doc­u­ment.

The state­ment of claim filed last week has not been tested in court, and a state­ment of de­fence was not avail­able.

The woman’s lawyer, Michael Dull, said in an in­ter­view that part of the mo­ti­va­tion for the law­suit is that the woman is up­set the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment has fully funded the de­fence of its four em­ploy­ees.

“We say it’s ap­pro­pri­ate if they funded the de­fence of the con­duct, it’s ap­pro­pri­ate that they fund com­pen­sa­tion for the harm for the con­duct.”

“We know these kinds of phys­i­cal and emo­tional harms can be re­ally long last­ing and my client has suf­fered her share of those harms for the past two years and will likely in the fu­ture,” Dull said.

The Crown orig­i­nally al­leged the sailors par­tic­i­pated in a “group sex­ual as­sault,” and said the men were in Canada to par­tic­i­pate in a hockey tour­na­ment on the Hal­i­fax-area base.

Sev­eral days into a pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry in April 2016, charges were dropped against Craig Stoner, while charges against Joshua Fin­bow were with­drawn in De­cem­ber af­ter a state­ment he’d filed was ruled to be in­ad­mis­si­ble.

The amount of dam­ages be­ing sought was not spec­i­fied in the law­suit.

Dar­ren Smal­ley


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