A B.C. judge is now deciding if Randall Hopley will be imprisoned indefinitely as a dangerous offender for kidnapping a three-year-old boy in Sparwood, B.C., two years ago.

In September 2011,  Hopley, 48, abducted Kienan Hebert in the middle of the night from the boy's home, then remarkably brought him back four days later, evading one of the largest manhunts in the province's history.

Hopley eventually pleaded guilty to abducting the boy, and his sentencing hearing in Cranbrook wrapped up on Thursday.

In final arguments Crown prosecutor Lynal Doerksen posed the question: Why does a man abduct a boy?


Randall Hopley pleaded guilty to the abduction of Sparwood toddler Kienan Hebert in September 2011. (RCMP)

"I think it's safe for the court to conclude it is to sexually assault the child," Doerksen said.

Recounting Hopley's lengthy record, which included previous abductions and sexual assaults of boys, Doerksen told the judge Hopley has proven many times he will "take a child for his own purposes."

Hopley should be declared a dangerous offender, and thus receive an indefinite prison term, Doeksen told the court. Short of that, he said, Hopley should be sentenced to at least seven years plus time served.

Hopley's lawyer Bill Thorne countered there was no indication of sexual activity in the Hebert abduction, and asked the judge to sentence him to two years in custody, plus time served.

As for Hopley himself, he chose not take the stand at his sentencing hearing, but said through his lawyer he knows he's going to do federal time and hopes to get counselling and acquire skills there.

The judge is expected to hand down Hopley's sentence on Nov. 29.

'Remorseless sex offender'

Earlier this week, excerpts were read out from psychological and psychiatric reports about Hopley's apparent ongoing compulsion to molest children.

Years before he abducted Hebert from a Sparwood home, Hopley was described as a danger to society in a 1985 report by forensic psychologist Dr. William Koch.
The court heard Hopley was 17 years old when he assaulted three children at his foster home, and he was sent to prison a few years later for sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy.

According to these reports, Hopley is a remorseless sex offender who needs immediate intervention but who refuses to take part in any kind of counselling, said prosecutors.

With files from Bob Keating