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Former RBR commanding officer Curley pleads guilty to official corruption

Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley (File photograph)

A former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment yesterday admitted official corruption.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, 55, pleaded guilty in Supreme Court to asking the late Justin Williams, a prominent lawyer, for a nomination to join the Order of St John in exchange for firearms and/or a position at the RBR.

The court heard that there were several exchanges between Curley and Mr Williams about the former CO procuring replica firearms for him.

The guns would be traded off for a nomination for the chivalric order. The court heard that Mr Williams was a known gun collector.

Curley offered to use his power in the RBR to appoint Mr Williams as the Regiment’s legal adviser in exchange for the nomination, the court was told.

The exchanges took place between January 1, 2015 and December 23, 2015.

Two other corruption charges, which involved corruptly receiving benefits from the exchange and asking for a separate benefit, will lay on the file.

Mark Pettingill, for the defence, said the firearms were “inert” and purely for display purposes.

Curley was appointed commanding officer of the RBR in 2016 and was replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Ben Beasley in October 2020.

Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe adjourned the case until September 1 for a sentencing date to be set.

He ordered a social inquiry report for Curley and extended his bail. Two other charges against Curley were dropped.

Rena Lalgie, the Governor, said in a written response: "I am aware of the guilty plea entered today in the Supreme Court by former Commanding Officer, David Curley.

“I will be consulting with the Chair of the Defence Board and the current Commanding Officer as to next steps.

"I remain confident that this individual’s actions are not reflective of the values and standards of those who serve and does not diminish the pride that we rightly have in our Regiment."

Curley was charged with corruption alongside Gareath Adderley, the former Commissioner of St John Ambulance, and Christopher Clarke, a former police inspector, last February.

Neither Mr Adderley or Mr Clarke have entered a plea and their case will be heard again in the Supreme Court on August 1.

Mr Williams was also named in the charges but was in the US at the time and did not receive the indictment. He died a month later of kidney failure and Covid-19.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.