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Sentencing delayed for former Regiment commander

David Curley, a former Commanding Officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment (File photograph)

A former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment who admitted a charge of official corruption will have to wait until next week to learn his fate.

David Curley, 55, was to be sentenced yesterday after admitting that he traded two decommissioned firearms taken from the regiment’s armoury in exchange for a nomination for a royal order of chivalry through the St John Ambulance organisation.

The deal was struck with the late Justin Williams, a prominent lawyer and keen gun collector.

But Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe deferred sentencing until Wednesday after defence lawyer Mark Pettingill made a last-minute submission.

Following a sentencing hearing last month, Mr Justice Wolffe had asked to see copies of photographs of the two guns that Curley had given to Mr Williams.

When Mr Wolffe produced one of those photographs in court today, Mr Pettingill rose to point out that the image, taken by the police, showed three weapons – including an AK47 assault rifle, which was not relevant to the case.

Mr Pettingill went on to emphasise Curley had given the guns to Mr Williams “with the blessing of the police”.

He said: “It was with their permission, their authority, their certification.”

Mr Justice Wolffe concluded that, although he had been ready to deliver his sentence, he needed more time to consider Mr Pettingill’s points.

“I should have kept my powder dry,” Mr Pettingill replied ruefully.

It also emerged during yesterday’s hearing that Curley had made arrangements for further weapons to be handed over to Mr Williams.

Mr Justice Wolffe said: “It was not just these two guns – there was talk of other types of weapons and talk of other types of awards coming up.

“The defendant told Mr Williams that he was in contact with a weapons supplier and asked if he would be interested in other weapons.”

The offence took place over several months in 2015, when Curley commanded the RBR with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

He was placed on leave from the regiment in 2019 after a police investigation linked him with Mr Williams.

During last month’s hearing, Curley said that he “deeply regretted” getting involved.

He told the court that the case had scuppered his marriage and work prospects and that he had been shunned by his friends in his military.

Curley also said he had a long association with St John Ambulance.

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