POLITICS

British sailors charged with sex assault in Halifax transferred to Alberta

05/01/2015 10:33 EDT | Updated 05/01/2016 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - Four British sailors charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm were granted a change in bail conditions Friday, allowing them to move from a Halifax military base to a military training area in Alberta.

Simon Radford, Joshua Finbow, Craig Stoner and Darren Smalley were released from custody on April 20 on conditions that they reside at Canadian Forces Base Stadacona, pay a $3,000 cash surety, not contact the alleged victim and return to court May 27.

The provincial court granted a change in their bail conditions Friday, allowing them to be transferred to CFB Suffield, where there is a British army training unit.

The lawyers for the four accused declined comment.

Rear Admiral John Newton, the commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, asked the men to leave CFB Stadacona by 6 p.m., Crown attorney Scott Morrison said outside court.

"They have deposited their passports and they are still as far as I understand employed by the British military," Morrison said. "So based on the plan we have in place we're still confident that they will not be a flight risk."

Morrison deferred questions about why the men were no longer welcome at CFB Stadacona to the Canadian Forces.

The Forces could not be reached for comment.

When they were arrested April 16 in Nova Scotia, the men were in the province to participate in a hockey tournament with local Armed Forces personnel.

The Crown alleges they participated in a "group sexual assault" on April 10 in a barracks at CFB Shearwater, another military base in Halifax.

Maj. Yves Desbiens, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces Military Police Group, said at the time that the complainant is a civilian.