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Ex-husband of teacher on trial testifies


The ex-husband of Carolyn Amy Hood told Pictou provincial court he was “shocked” to learn his wife had been suspended from a teaching position in the fall of 2013.

David Hood testified Tuesday as Crown witness that his wife at the time told him rumours were circulating about her and inappropriate texts being sent to students.

Carolyn Amy Hood, 40, has admitted to four of six charges that include two counts of luring, one count of sexual interference and one count of sexual exploitation of a young person. The allegations involved minors in 2013, when she was teaching Grade 6 at Thorburn Consolidated, a primary to Grade 9 school at the time. The defence is arguing Hood was not criminally responsible at the time of the offences because of a mental disorder.

A publication ban protects the identities of the victims.

David, who married Amy in 1999, said life was busy in their household prior to 2012-2013. They had three young children and Amy was dedicated to her teaching job, working long hours at schoolwork and extracurricular activities as well as running. He said he had cautioned her in the past about her contact with students after school hours, such as attending their hockey games or students calling their house to speak with her.  

“I expressed concern that it wasn’t appropriate, not professional and you put yourself in a dangerous situation,” he said. “She acknowledged it.”

He testified that between October 2013 and January 2014 he learned through conversations with Amy that she had texted a total of seven teenage boys and had also sent out some electronic photos of herself in her underwear. He also learned she had a sexual experience with one of the students.

She was admitted to the mental health unit of the Aberdeen Hospital for two weeks in December 2013 and after her release he said they tried to function as normally as possible.

“We were just trying to get through the situation,” he said.

David said their marriage ended after March 2014 when he found her texting a former student on their daughter’s iPod. He said he’d gotten up in the middle of the night and found her in their living room with the device. After asking her repeatedly what she was doing, he grabbed it from her hand and saw text messages on it.

“She refused to give it to me. She said, ‘Let me delete it and I will tell you who it is.’”

Hood said they physically struggled over the iPod, causing the children to wake up and become upset. He said he later read the texts and they were to a boy she’d been texting a few months earlier.

David told defence lawyer Joel Pink that Amy went to the Truro emergency department a few days later, but the doctors said there was no need to be kept as an inpatient because she wasn’t manic or at any risk to harm herself.

“Is it true you have not accepted your wife may be mentally ill?” Pink asked David to which he responded, “I haven’t accepted any of this situation to be honest with you.”

In addition to David’s testimony, the mother of one of the teen boys testified Tuesday. She said Hood taught her son in Grade 6 and mentioned a few years after when the boy went to high school that she was continuing to look for him. 

In the fall of 2013, the woman said she contacted Hood herself because of the rumours she was hearing about her and the texting.

The woman said Hood told her she texted “all the kids” and couldn’t understand what the woman was telling her.

“I said, ‘I realize you are close with all the kids, but these are serious things and people are getting upset.’ I asked her not to text my son anymore or his girlfriend.”

The trial continues today (Wednesday).

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