Blue Line

Former N.L. Mountie charged with perjury for testimony at another officer’s trial

March 27, 2024  By The Canadian Press

Mar. 27, 2024, St. John’s, Nfld. – A former RCMP officer is facing charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for testimony he gave on the witness stand at another Mountie’s trial, Newfoundland and Labrador’s police oversight agency said Wednesday.

Cst. Paul Durdle was a defence witness in the trial last year of RCMP Cst. Michael Wheeler, who was ultimately convicted of careless use of a firearm and pointing a firearm at a person.

Mike King, director of the Serious Incident Response Team, confirmed in an email that the charges he laid against Durdle stem from the ex-officer’s testimony in Wheeler’s trial.

Wheeler was convicted in December after the provincial Supreme Court heard that he pointed a gun at a woman’s head while drinking at Durdle’s house. The woman testified that he first put her in a headlock, from which she escaped, and then he pressed his gun into the side of her head, according to Justice Sandra Chaytor’s written decision.

The woman said Durdle saw Wheeler point the gun at her and asked him to stop, but Durdle denied this during the trial.

Durdle has since resigned from the force, the province’s police oversight agency said. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 14.

Wheeler has not yet been sentenced and he is due back in court in April.

Durdle is the second RCMP officer in the province to be charged this month. On March 5, the police watchdog agency said it had charged Cst. Marc Payne with careless use of a firearm, stemming from an incident in Corner Brook, N.L., in May 2022.

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