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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Infrastructure upgrades about to get underway on Bowen Road

Nighttime road work to start next Monday, June 8, between old Island Highway and Labieux Road

Resiliency program set up to help Island tourism through ‘grim’ times

Tourism Vancouver Island CEO says 23-25 per cent of tourism businesses may shut down permanently

Column: Vulnerability to global disasters is our own making

For many, needs of the moment take precedence over concerns about sustainability, notes columnist

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Most Read