HALIFAX — A British sailor accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Halifax-area military base is expected to head back to the United Kingdom as he grapples with a serious infection that has delayed his trial multiple times.
Simon Radford's lawyer told Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday that his client remained in a Halifax hospital with a staph infection and doctors were expected to drain his leg on Thursday, before Radford was scheduled to fly out later that evening.
"I'm told the (Royal Navy) are flying over a medical officer or attendant to journey back with him," said lawyer David Bright, who had told the court earlier this week that his client had undergone surgery.
"There is no likelihood he would be able to return to court this week."
The trial was not scheduled to sit next week, so Justice Patrick Duncan adjourned the case until Sept. 24.
The judge noted the "very serious" nature of Radford's infection.
"This is the type of thing that could put even a return of the 24th of September in jeopardy," said Duncan.
Outside of court, Bright declined to elaborate on his client's condition for privacy reasons.
Radford is one of two British sailors accused of sexual assault causing bodily harm and participating in a sexual assault involving one or more people at CFB Shearwater in April 2015.
Both Radford and co-accused Darren Smalley are not in custody, but are under strict bail conditions.
Radford's infection has delayed the trial several times.
The trial was scheduled to continue last Friday after hearing testimony from a military police sergeant who investigated the alleged incident, but Radford had been admitted to hospital. Earlier in the week, the start of the trial was delayed because he was in hospital.
Bright has told the court his client was injured in the United Kingdom and suffered a torn artery.
The two accused — members of the Royal Navy — were participating in a naval hockey tournament in Halifax at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
The complainant is expected to testify at the judge-alone trial, and the Crown has said it will call roughly 12 witnesses.
Four men were originally accused in the alleged sexual assault, but charges against two of the sailors were dropped.
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Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press