Crime

Charge added in Cole Harbour teacher case

Derek Stephenson was on probation at time of alleged assault

Derek William Stephenson, 42, a former Cole Harbour District High School English teacher charged with assaulting a student, has also been charged with breach of probation.

Stephenson is scheduled to be back in court April 12 to enter a plea on all three charges.

“The Crown has laid new information, setting out three charges rather than two,” said Joel Pink, Stephenson’s lawyer in a scrum outside the courtroom. “Whoever was handling the file did not realize that my client was on probation at the time. As a result, they’ve added a new charge.”

The assault and public mischief charges stem from an Oct. 3 incident. Police allege that Stephenson removed earbuds from a 15-year-old’s ears, pushed the teen into a wall and put him on the floor. Video of the incident was widely shared on Snapchat.

Stephenson is no longer employed with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, said spokesperson Kelly Connors.

Stephenson faces a maximum of six months in jail, or a $5,000 fine for each of the charges, if convicted.