Witness gets more time for lying to court in sordid P.E.I. drug case

Chase James Roper, 23, to serve seven months more for perjury following his trial for home invasion with Derry Bird and Jason Yeo

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 4, 2014

Prince Edward Island provincial court

©Guardian photo

A Charlottetown man who lied during a home invasion trial because he said he was threatened will have seven months added to the time he’s already serving for his role in the robbery.

Chase James Roper, 23, appeared before Chief Judge John Douglas in provincial court Wednesday for sentencing after pleading guilty to perjury.

Man sentenced for lurking with gasoline around Roper's home

In handing down the sentence, Douglas said Roper’s motivation in perjuring himself was a concern for his safety.

Emmyvale home invasion timeline

“The individuals involved certainly support your contention the concerns were serious,” Douglas said.

Roper is already serving four years in prison for several offences, including his role in the armed robbery.

Although the Crown and defence gave joint submissions on the facts in the perjury case and on a sentence, neither side named who threatened Roper, other than to say the threats came directly and indirectly from his co-accused.

In May 2012, Roper and Derry Ian Bird burst into drug dealer Dean Fairhurst’s home where they tied him up and stole drugs with a street value of more than $24,000.

Jason Norman Yeo was found guilty of helping to plan the robbery so Roper and Bird could pay off debts to him.

During Bird’s trial Roper was called to testify and told the court he committed the robbery with someone named Slash who he barely knew.

Roper denied Bird was involved, which contradicted his statement to police and he later offered to re-take the stand. He eventually testified at Yeo’s trial.

Roper has been in segregation for the last six months because of concerns for his safety and his lawyer Brandon Forbes said any benefit to the accused is a factor to consider in perjury cases.

“The benefit here is self preservation,” Forbes said.

Along with the jail time, Douglas dealt with the issue of a mandatory victim surcharge, which he said he has been struggling with of late.

Roper will be in prison for several years and won’t have an income during that time.

Douglas ordered Roper to pay a $200 victim surcharge that was owing immediately and sentenced him to two days in prison in default of payment to be served concurrent to any other sentence.