Child abductor Randall Hopley high risk to reoffend if released: psychiatrist

CRANBROOK, B.C. - A convicted child abductor's past behaviour, not what he says now, points to a man who's a high risk to reoffend if he's released from prison, a forensic psychiatrist has told a sentencing hearing.

Dr. Emlene Murphy interviewed Randall Hopley and tested him a year ago after the Crown announced it was proceeding with a dangerous offender application against him.

Murphy said she reviewed a series of reports done on Hopley, 47, starting from the time he was 15, when he sexually assaulted young children while he was living in foster a foster home.

"The previous reports were more helpful than interviewing Mr. Hopley," she said Wednesday. "When it comes to future risks of reoffending the best criteria is past history."

The British Columbia resident entered foster care when he was 10 and remained there until he was 19 years old. Along the way there were numerous incidents and convictions for sexually assaulting pre-pubescent children leading to a diagnosis of pedophilia, an IQ ranging from 59 to 73 in a series of tests and some signs of anti-social behaviour. The IQ rate for someone considered normal would be 100.

One of the tests, a Static 99, places individuals into categories measuring the reoffending rate of former sex offenders.

Hopley was rated as a sex offender at a high risk to assault again.

"He matches a group who have a reoffending rate in five years of 20 per cent," Murphy told B.C. Supreme Court.

"In 10 years the number is 27 per cent. He's up there as a high risk of reoffending."

Murphy made note of a 2007 conviction that Hopley received for attempting to abduct a 10-year-old boy and the 2011 abduction of three-year-old Kienan Hebert, who was snatched from his Sparwood, B.C., home in the middle of the night.

Although Hopley has denied he sexually assaulted either boy, Murphy said they both still had a "sexual component".

"The behaviour is consistent with past behaviour...involving very young children. So the pattern that is emerging is sexual contact with pre-pubescent boys."

Hopley vehemently denied there was any sexual motivation in his abduction of Hebert, saying he wanted to send a message to the RCMP.

"He didn't make it clear what the message was or make any connection to stealing this boy from his home," she said.

"It was kind of a puzzling conversation because it wasn't very logical."

"In the (Hebert) abduction there was some evidence of sexual paraphernalia in the cabin so that would imply some kind of plan for sexual behaviour," Murphy said.

She said Hopley was unwilling to discuss details about his sexual behaviour and would only be interested in attending counselling sessions if his time behind bars was reduced.

Hopley has admitted to abducting Hebert from his home in Sparwood, B.C., in 2011 and then returning the boy to his home a few days later.

The Crown wants him designated as either a dangerous or long-term offender.

If declared a dangerous offender, Hopley could face the harshest punishment of an indeterminate prison sentence, with no chance of parole for seven years.

A long-term offender designation would mean Hopley could, after serving his sentence, receive a supervision order for up to 10 years.

Hebert’s parents issued an emotional public plea to the boy’s abductor, asking that their son be left in a safe place.

Shortly after, an anonymous 911 caller told police where to find the boy — back at his home.

Hopley pleaded guilty to breaking into the Heberts’ home and kidnapping the boy.

He has insisted that he never harmed or sexually assaulted the child, and the Crown has presented no evidence that he did.