Accused in Vernon home invasion gets 18 months in prison | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Accused in Vernon home invasion gets 18 months in prison

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November 21, 2016 - 9:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man will spend 18 months behind bars after a hitchhiking trip led to a home invasion in Vernon.

Maurice Perrier, 46, pleaded guilty in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Nov. 21 to break and enter and committing an indictable offence.

Perrier has been in custody since March 19 of this year, when an elderly man called the police to report his home had been broken into.

"There are a couple of unusual circumstances," Crown prosecutor Iain Currie told the court.

Vernon RCMP received a call around 4:45 p.m. that day about a stolen motor home being spotted in the Bella Vista neighbourhood. Around the same time, an 83-year-old man had called to report his house had been broken into.

The man was sitting in his dining room around 4:15 that afternoon when two men came through the unlocked front door, Currie says. The pair was later identified as Perrier and Gregory Jolicoeur.

Court heard one man was masked as he grabbed the elderly victim and taped his arms to the dining room chair. The same man, who the victim called polite, asked for money from the victim.

The 83-year-old said he didn't have much but they could take whatever they could find, Currie said. The pair didn't believe him. They said they knew he was a retired doctor who used to prescribe medical marijuana.

Perrier and Jolicoeur took about $200 from inside the home and the man's wallet. They took brandy from the kitchen and a French sword, court heard.

Currie says the duo was at the home for about 15 to 20 minutes. Before they left, they took the victim's cell phone number and told him someone would be over in 30 minutes to set him free.

But before that happened, the elderly man was able to stand up and reach a phone to call police. Currie says the victim maintained he never thought he was in physical danger and that both men weren't rude during the ordeal.

"He didn't feel like he was assaulted," Currie said. "He described the first man as being polite."

After police received the call, they went looking for Perrier and Jolicoeur. They eventually spotted the motor home which was reported missing earlier and arrested Perrier and Jolicoeur. 

Stolen property from the victim's home was found in the vehicle and on both accused. 

Currie asked for 18 to 24 months in prison, while defence lawyer Brad Smith asked for 18 months. Smith told the court Perrier had gotten into an argument with his partner and went hitchhiking to clear his head that day.

Jolicoeur picked Perrier up and told him he had a job to do. Perrier went along with the ride.

"He wasn't the directing mind, so to speak," Smith said.

Up to this point, Perrier has never had any trouble with the law, which Smith called "remarkable." Judge Sheri Donegan sentenced him to 18 months but with credit for 12 months in custody, he will be behind bars for an additional six months.

"Mr. Perrier unfortunately took a ride with someone he shouldn't have," Donegan told the court. 

She gave Perrier credit for pleading guilty and taking responsibility for his actions.

"You've spared this retired doctor from having to come to court and testify," Donegan said.

After his release, Perrier will be on a two-year probation where he will have no contact with the victim and is prohibited from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

Perrier was originally charged with six counts relating to the home invasion, but five of them were stayed by the Crown today.

According to court documents, Jolicoeur has pleaded guilty to the break-in and his next court appearance will be in Kamloops next month.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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