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)

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

Search and rescue crews from all over Vancouver Island responded to calls to assist with the search for a 19 year-old man with medical issues who got lost on trails in the south end of Duncan on Nov. 21. The man was found Sunday morning and taken to hospital for assessment. (Submitted photo)
Duncan man rescued after getting lost on local trails

19-year-old taken to hospital for assessment

Duncan’s Knights of Columbus hand out cheques to a slew of deserving organizations in an online event Nov. 8, 2020. (Submitted)
Duncan Knights of Columbus hand cheques to lucky 13 in virtual event

Another historic first for the Knights was to have two area mayors join the presentation

Changes to the holidays due to COVID-19 will be a challenge for people with dementia. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Webinars aim to help those with dementia approach holidays

“The holidays can present difficulties for people living with dementia for a multitude of reasons”

Theresa Bodger at the Duncan Curling Club, displaying the championship trophy and a photo of her mom, Georgina Falt. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Cowichan Alzheimer’s fundraiser surpasses $65,000 since inception

Courier editor and his wife overwhelmed by continued support

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read