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

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Pacific Poke bowl lovers can get a free taste at the restaurant’s ‘Grand Opening Event’

The restaurant will offer some of its specials Thursday evening at its Kelowna location

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Tribute to Kelowna’s Chinese Canadian pioneers planned

A tribute to Kelowna’s historic Chinese Canadian community got underway this weekend.

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Okanagan resort seeking connnection to rail trail

Predator Ridge Resort slated to present wish for trail from resort to ORT to Vernon council

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Okanagan power outage scuttles – but not ruins – city’s mission’s Easter meals

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later due to downtown power outage

Waterway Houseboats wins $2 million for damages caused in 2012 flood

Houseboat company wins lawsuit involving Province of British Columbia, District of Sicamous

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Most Read