Hopley considered high-risk sex offender: documents

Newly released court documents involving the man accused of kidnapping a B.C. boy present a disturbing snapshot of a high-risk sex offender.
Accused child abductor Randall Hopley is led out of the Cranbrook, B.C., courthouse. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Graveland)

Newly released court documents involving the man accused of kidnapping a B.C. boy present a disturbing snapshot of a high-risk sex offender.

Randall Hopley was convicted in 1985 of sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy and a psychiatric report leading up to his prison release warned he could offend again. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

The report prepared by Dr. J.A. Noone, said Hopley, then 21 years old, refused sex offender treatment and wasn't a suitable candidate for other treatment programs.

"I see him as a high risk to reoffend unless he is in a supervised setting. I do not see that there are viable treatment possibilities for him, if released."

Noone said Hopley, who had an IQ well below average, was one of those people who seemed to have fallen between the cracks of various support agencies.

The report was written just one month before his mandatory release date of Jan. 6, 1987. But justice officials wanted to keep Hopley in prison until the end of his term, citing his high risk to children.

A Parole Board document in the court file attempts to support the revocation of Hopley's mandatory supervision.

"Psychiatric reports indicate that without treatment, he is likely to reoffend. Hopley has received no treatment while incarcerated," the Nov. 28, 1986 document stated.

His sentence also included three years of probation and an order that he have no contact with children under the age of 12, unless in the company of a suitable adult.

Hopley is undergoing a psychiatric assessment ahead of facing allegations that he abducted three-year-old Kienan Hebert from his bed in Sparwood.

Hopley has not been charged with sex offences in Hebert's abduction, which sparked an Amber Alert.

The boy was returned Sept. 11 to his home, physically unharmed, four days after he was abducted.

Hopley was arrested two days later just over the Alberta boundary, near Crowsnest Pass.

After his first court appearance last week, his lawyer said Hopley had a story to tell that would come out in court.

Lawyer William Thorne said Hopley was very sad and sorry about the situation he was in, suggesting his client might be under a suicide watch.

Before Hopley was arrested, Kienan's father Paul Hebert spoke out against the justice system, saying it failed to intervene as Hopley's criminal record grew.

"The judge let him walk with no help. That's what failed: The system. Mr. Hopley needs help and the judicial system failed him and in doing so failed us, as well."

Hopley was to have been in court in Pincher Creek, Alta., next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing on 12 unrelated charges dating back to May 2010 in Crowsnest Pass.

In 2008, Hopley was convicted of break and enter in connection to his intention to abduct a 10-year-old boy and the judge said the case was an offence against a young child.

"The criminal record of Mr. Hopley is extensive," provincial court Judge Ronald Webb said in his ruling, singling out the 1985 sexual assault conviction.

The ruling was first posted on the provincial court website last Friday.

"It is a matter of common sense that people looking after this 10-year-old child are concerned about your background, albeit a 20-year-old background."

"This matter is not, in any way, similar to a break and enter and theft, a property offence. It is an offence against a young child, a child that is entitled to be protected in his home," Webb said in handing down his sentence.

Hopley had told the court he wanted to take the boy from his foster parents and return him to his biological parents.

The judge sentenced Hopley to 18 months in jail and three years probation.