Chances high Hopley will re-offend if released, court hears

Defense points out Hopley has had no sexual convictions since 1985

Randall Hopley has been rated as having a one-in-four chance of committing another sexual offence against young boys within the next 10 years.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Emlene Murphy gave evidence Wednesday in the week-long dangerous offender hearing for Hopley, who has pleaded guilty to the abduction of three-year-old Kienan Hebert from his bed in Sparwood in September 2011.

Dr. Murphy, who has 30 years experience in the field, reviewed police and court documents related to Hopley, along with prior psychiatric and expert reports, before interviewing Hopley in North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre in October 2012.

One test Dr. Murphy conducted on Hopley, called a Static 99, found that Hopley fits in a group that has a one-in-five chance of reoffending in the next five years, and a one-in-four chance of reoffending in the next 10 years.

“He is a high risk to the community at this point,” Dr. Murphy told the court.

What’s more, she explained, research of sex offenders shows Hopley, 48, falls into several categories where reoffending is highest. He committed his first offence when he was a teen, his offences are against male children, some of whom were strangers to him, and he does not have an adult partner. Each of these circumstances places him in a group that has a high risk of reoffending.

Crown prosecutor Lynal Doerksen asked Dr. Murphy what level of supervision Hopley would need in order to prevent him from reoffending if he was released from custody.

“Given his risk of reoffending in a sexual way is high, he would need a very high level of supervision,” she said.

“He would need very intense supervision with conditions that would curtail his freedom in a major way.”

She suggested electronic monitoring, spot checks by a probation officer and a driving prohibition as some of the appropriate conditions.

Dr. Murphy considered Hopley’s history of sexual offences against children, which started when he was 15. In 1985, when he was 19, Hopley was sent to a federal prison for the sexual assault of a five-year-old boy in Hosmer.

Although Hopley was not convicted of a sexual offense in 2007, Dr. Murphy also considered a case that year in which Hopley was instead convicted of break and enter, because she said it related to his pattern of offending.

In that case, Hopley admitted to attempting to abduct a 10-year-old boy from his foster home in Sparwood. Hopley claimed the boy’s biological mother had offered him $2,800 to kidnap the child and return him to her. However, after Hopley broke into the foster home, the boy’s foster mother heard the child scream and Hopley fled.

Although police found sexual paraphernalia when searching Hopley’s residence soon after, he denied that his motivation for kidnapping the child was sexual.

However, Dr. Murphy said that in the lack of any information backing up Hopley’s claim, “sexual motivation is suspected from a clinical perspective.”

When Dr. Murphy discussed the abduction of Kienan Hebert with Hopley, he denied hurting the child physically or sexually.

The prosecution has presented no evidence that Hopley assaulted Kienan.

Hopley told Dr. Murphy that he abducted Kienan to “send a message to police” but did not elaborate on what that message was.

“He did not clarify how the message issue was connected to taking the boy,” Dr. Murphy said. “That was a puzzling conversation because it wasn’t very logical.”

Dr. Murphy considered that there was a sexual component in the kidnapping of Kienan, even though there was no offense.

“From the information I have, there was evidence of sexual paraphernalia in the cabin on this occasion,” Dr. Murphy said. “That would seem to imply some plan for sexual behaviour.”

However, during cross-examination, Hopley’s defense counsel William Thorne challenged Dr. Murphy’s finding that Hopley’s motivation in the Hebert case was sexual, pointing out that in statements to police Hopley said he was “protesting against the police, the courts and his lawyer” after the 2007 case.

“It may be he wanted to prove a point or he may have wanted to commit a sexual assault or it could be mixed motivation,” Dr. Murphy responded. “But sexual motivation cannot be detached from this case.”

Regardless, Thorne added, there is a gap in Hopley’s offenses between 1985 and 2007.

“For a relatively short period of time, he was engaged in activity for which he was convicted. There has been nothing after that except for the two abductions, would you agree?” Thorne asked.

“That is a fairly lengthy period of time,” Dr. Murphy agreed. “How to explain that, I really do not have a good explanation as to why.”

Thorne added that Hopley’s spate of offenses as a teen are never going away.

“They will always be around to lead someone like yourself to assess him at risk of reoffending,” he said.

Randall Hopley’s sentencing hearing continues in Cranbrook Supreme Court on Thursday, October 10.