The sentencing hearing for Joel Perry, who pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and other charges in connection with a series of indecent phone calls, got underway in Surrey Provincial Court Monday. (File photo)

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

A Vancouver Island man who pleaded guilty to making dozens of harassing and indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C. – including to a senior in a care home – has been handed an 18-month conditional sentence for the crimes.

In imposing the term – suggested jointly by lawyers on both sides of the case – Monday in Surrey Provincial Court, Judge Peder Gulbransen said he put “critical importance” on the fact Joel Perry did not continue the behaviour after his arrest.

He described Perry’s motivation for the nine-month spree as “a real mystery.”

“I don’t think anyone knows why this happened.”

In making sentencing submissions, prosecutor Rajiv Khangura noted Perry had no previous criminal history and has “reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.”

At the same time, Perry has “a lack of insight” into the offences, Khangura said.

“Some of the victims were elderly and vulnerable,” the calls spanned nine months and didn’t stop until his arrest in May 2018, he added.

Defence counsel Janeen Sandhu told the court Perry’s behaviour was “due to his pain” from a difficult childhood. He was abandoned by his parents, and experienced abuse and neglect in an orphanage before he was adopted, Sandhu said.

He is remorseful, she added, noting Perry wanted to “assure these two women (who provided victim impact statements) that they have nothing to fear from him going forward.”

Perry, 33, was arrested three months after Mounties issued a warning about an indecent and threatening caller. The warning came after several women – from White Rock, Langley and Surrey – reported receiving disturbing calls.

READ MORE: B.C. man faces 70 charges related to disturbing phone calls

The court heard Monday that Perry would tell some of the women he called that he was watching them through cameras he had installed in their homes, and that he would threaten to have someone hurt them if they didn’t engage in sexually explicit conversation.

Gulbransen, in his reasons, noted the effect of such calls “can be devastating.”

At the same time, “I’m satisfied that he had no intention to satisfy a need in himself… To cause people to be deathly afraid.”

Police said there was no evidence to suggest the caller had installed cameras, and that they believed the man had been gleaning the women’s personal information through their social-media accounts.

One of the victims who attended court, a White Rock woman, told Peace Arch News outside court that she received “six or seven” calls at home from Perry. Noting she had “a lot to digest,” the woman said she was relieved Perry wasn’t handed a jail term.

“Jail was certainly not the answer,”she said.

The BC Prosecution Service approved 70 charges against Perry, in connection with incidents that occurred between September 2017 and April 2018. Court records show 15 of those related to incidents in White Rock.

Guilty pleas – a total of 32 – were entered on Dec. 14.

In addition to the conditional term, Perry was handed three years probation and multiple conditions.

Just Posted

Seniors Advocate seeking feedback at Trail meeting

Isobel Mckenzie will be at the Trail Legion for two hours on Friday

FortisBC to offer free energy efficiency assessments for small businesses

Fortis BC wants to help 900 storefronts in Kelowna, Penticton and Rossland

$174-million acid plant up and running at Trail smelter

Teck Trail Ops; New facility replaces 1970s technology

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

‘It’s almost surreal’: B.C. fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Most Read