News / Halifax

Former Nova Scotia teacher found guilty of sex charges files cross-appeal for new trial

Amy Hood's defence team is arguing her choice not to testify adversely affected her case.

Defence lawyer Joel Pink and Amy Hood at her sentencing hearing.

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Defence lawyer Joel Pink and Amy Hood at her sentencing hearing.

A second notice of appeal has been filed in the case of a former schoolteacher sentenced in December for sex-related crimes involving minors.

Both the Crown and defence have filed appeals in the case of Carolyn Amy Hood, Stellarton, who was sentenced last month to a 15-month conditional sentence order that includes 12 months’ house arrest followed by two years’ probation.

On Jan. 4, the appeals branch of the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service filed a notice of appeal regarding the leniency of the sentence. Then, on Monday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal received a notice of cross-appeal filed by defence lawyer Joel Pink asking for a new trial.

The Crown’s position is that the provincial court judge erred by not upholding the mandatory minimum punishment for the offence of sexual exploitation and that the sentence imposed inadequately reflects the objectives of denunciation and deterrence.

It asked that a sentence of at least two years be imposed on Hood.

Forty-year-old Hood admitted to two counts of luring, sexual interference and sexual exploitation. The charges were laid in relation to offences involving teenage boys from Feb. 1 to Sept. 30, 2013. She was a Grade 6 teacher at Thorburn Consolidated at the time.

The defence argued during an eight-day trial that Hood was not criminally responsible at the time of the offences because of a mental disorder, but the court wasn’t convinced by this argument and rendered guilty verdicts on all four charges. 

The cross-appeal from the defence says the judge erred by inferring from Hood’s choice not to testify that she adversely affected her case; that the judge’s decision was not supported by the evidence brought before the court; and that the judge erred in his treatment of expert evidence.

The cross-appeal has asked that the conviction of guilt be set aside and replaced with a finding that Hood is not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder and a new trial be ordered.

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