Witness in robbery trial charged with perjury

Ryan Ross
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Scales of justice

An Island man who was declared a hostile witness in a recent home invasion trial will be back in court next month after he was charged with perjury.

Chase Roper testified earlier this month in the robbery trial of Derry Ian Bird after he told police Bird was his partner in a violent home invasion in Emyvale in 2012.

But despite telling police Bird was involved in robbing convicted drug dealer Dean Fairhurst, Roper testified his partner was somebody else he had just met at the time.

Several people have already been sentenced in connection with the robbery, including Roper.

During the final day of Bird’s trial Tuesday in front of Justice Gordon Campbell in P.E.I. Supreme Court, Crown attorney Cindy Wedge informed the court Roper was arrested Dec. 13 and charged with perjury.

Wedge said Roper confirmed he perjured himself and asked to testify again at Bird’s trial.

But because the Crown and defence had already closed their cases there was a limited ability for Wedge to reopen her case.

In order for Roper to be called back to testify Wedge could have put forward a motion with the defence’s consent to bring him back, Wedge could have sought to reopen her case or Campbell could have made his own motion to call evidence.

None of those happened.

Although she didn’t try to call Roper back, Wedge said it was her duty as an officer of the court to inform the court that he offered to correct his perjured testimony.

In response to the new information about Roper, defence lawyer Brendan Hubley said his level of credibility was quite low and he didn’t see the value of calling him back to testify.

Campbell said bringing Roper back would be reopening the case and a judge’s discretion to do so shrinks the further along a trial gets.

He decided not to call Roper back to the stand.

Roper will be back in court Jan. 30 to answer to the perjury charge.

Geographic location: Iceland

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