Amy Hood trial for sex crimes involving students nears end
Closing arguments slated for Dec. 18
Testimony wrapped up today at the trial of former Pictou County teacher Carolyn Amy Hood who is facing six sex-related charges involving teenaged boys.
Hood, 39, of Stellarton, who goes by her middle name Amy, was charged in January 2014 with one count of sexual assault, one count of sexual interference, two counts of luring minors over the internet for a sexual purpose and two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person.
Hood was a Grade 6 teacher at Thorburn Consolidated School during the time when the alleged incidents occurred, between June and September 2013.
The incidents allegedly involved two former male students of Hood's, who were 15 at the time.
Two alleged victims testified
The two male students took the stand over the course of the trial, along with the mother of one student and Hood's estranged husband. Hood's mother and siblings have also testified. Three psychiatrists have taken the stand for the defence, with a psychiatrist also taking the stand for the Crown.
The court has heard that Hood was exchanging text messages of a sexual nature with the students, with some of the text messages including pictures. Hood also allegedly performed oral sex on a student in her vehicle.
On the opening day of the trial, Hood's lawyer, Joel Pink, explained the defence admits to evidence in four of those counts: two involving luring, one of sexual exploitation and one of sexual interference.
Defence blames illness
However, Pink pointed to the testimony of psychiatrists to show that Hood is not criminally responsible for her actions because of a medical condition, bipolar disorder type 1.
Hood's psychiatrists gave evidence that her bipolar disorder compromised her judgment and made her out of control of her actions.
The final crown witness Thursday was forensic psychiatrist Dr Risk Kronfli. His role was to rebut some of the testimony from three defence psychiatrists.
The psychiatrist said he agreed Hood has bipolar disorder, but he believes she understood the consequences of her actions. He read text messages where Amy Hood tried to get the teens to delete her messages.
Crown says she understood consequences
The psychiatrist said a person in a mania would not care about covering her tracks.
"The common threads through the text messages would be to delete them after they had been sent or to not share them with other individuals and it was part of an overall presentation of the evidence that this was to be kept between the two individuals, Ms. Hood and the victim," Crown prosecutor Bill Gorman told reporters.
Pink argued the psychiatrist did not see Hood when she was manic and that she is not criminally responsible for the crimes.
"She was suffering from a mental disorder which caused her not to appreciate the nature and quality of her act or knowing that her act was wrong," Pink said outside court.
Court will hear closing arguments December 18.
The judge's decision will likely come in the new year.
The CBC's Shaina Luck live blogged from the trial.