Crown to begin closing arguments in case of teacher charged in teen’s drowning

Prosecutors are expected to lay out their case Friday against a Toronto teacher accused in the drowning of a student on a high school canoe trip.

Closing submissions in the case of Nicholas Mills began Thursday, with the defence arguing his conduct did not meet the threshold for a criminal conviction.

Mills has pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death in the July 4, 2017, drowning of 15-year-old Jeremiah Perry.

The Crown alleges Mills ignored safety rules in planning and carrying out the trip, including in allowing Perry — who it alleges could not swim — to go in the water without a life jacket.

In its submissions Thursday, the defence disputed the allegation that Perry could not swim, saying he would not otherwise have been able to reach the area where he drowned.

Defence lawyer Phil Campbell also argued Mills’s conduct should not be measured against the best practices of experts, but rather what would be reasonable for the “average parent.”

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