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... Marines' love battle: After death of one, BOTH surviving comrades gave solace to his devastated widow Marines' love battle: After death of one, BOTH surviving comrades gave solace to his devastated widow

16 April 2012

Kirianne Curley, widow of Corporal Stephen Curley, a royal marine had simultaneous affairs with his two best friends after he was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan, a court heard yesterday.

The 28-year-old, who had been left to bring up the couple’s 17-week-old son William alone, began a relationship with the dead commando’s friend Corporal Ben Wilmott soon after her husband’s death and simultaneously without Wilmott’s knowledge she also got involved with his fellow Marine Matthew Cotterill.

When Wilmott found out, he began bombarding Mrs Curley and his rival with offensive and threatening text messages, emails and phone calls.

All three servicemen had previously enjoyed a strong friendship and were compared in court to the Three Musketeers.

But after 26-year-old Cpl Curley’s death the bond between the surviving men unfolded after they fell for the same woman.

Mrs Curley’s relationship with Wilmott, 26, began shortly after her husband was killed in May 2010. But the widow’s relationship with Wilmott ended in January, after 18 months, when he was told that she was also involved with Mr Cotterill, leaving him feeling betrayed, the court was told.

Mrs Curley, of Exeter, Devon, also said Wilmott had been ‘deeply jealous and controlling through their relationship’.

When Wilmott was eventually arrested over the harassment, he told police: ‘I felt absolute hate. She is a vicious little cow. I have been stabbed in the back by her.’

Yesterday, James Rickard, defending, said his client deeply regretted his actions’.

He also said - Mrs Curley was the love of his life at the time and he felt she had let him down. That relationship came to an end and he had difficulty dealing with that. He felt hurt, jealous and abandoned.

A 14-year-old Afghan boy who had been promised money by the Taliban planted a roadside bomb which killed Cpl Curley in Helmand.

After his death his widow played a significant role in forcing the Government to make a U-turn on changes to the inquiry system to make it easier for families of troops killed in action to find out how they died. She sent a handwritten letter to David Cameron and said at the time: ‘The only way I can make sense of Stephen’s death is by trying to bring something good out of so much bad.’