Randall Hopley sent for dangerous offender assessment

Randall Hopley has been sent for a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is a dangerous or long-term offender.

Admitted child abductor Randall Hopley was sent for a psychiatric assessment on August 9 to determine if he should be declared a dangerous offender.

Hopley was remanded into the custody of the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission for 60 days. He will likely be sent to Port Coquitlam’s Forensic Psychiatry Hospital.

Should he be deemed a dangerous offender (DO), Hopley could be imprisoned indefinitely. He has admitted to abducting three-year old Kienan Hebert in September, 2011.

One of Canada’s most infamous criminals of all, Paul Bernardo was granted the status for a string of rapes and three murders committed with his wife and accomplice, Karla Homolka, in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

More recently, Russell Williams, who murdered two women and was convicted of 88 charges in total including many break and enters, did not receive DO status, although it was discussed during the trial.

The Crown attorney decided adding DO status would be redundant because Williams was handed a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for first-degree murder. It was decided that the criminal record of Williams would sufficiently prove that he will pose a danger for the rest of his life, even after the 25 years until a parole hearing is allowed.

According to a 2002 report from Correctional Service Canada, sexual offences are the leading conviction for DOs at 84 per cent. They are followed by kidnapping at 27 per cent, while murder is second on the list at two per cent. Homicide is usually exempt from DO or long-term offender status according to the legislation. Pedophilia offences accounted for 41 per cent of DO statuses.

According to Public Safety Canada, high risk offender laws were added to the Canadian constitution in 1947, but they have been restructured several times since then. The current program was introduced in 1977 after a review was ordered by the Canadian Committee on Corrections.

The law in which Hopley has been remanded in custody was implemented in the 1990’s. Crown counsel can seek DO status, pending a psychiatric assessment. The status provides a tool for courts to impose conditions on an offender if there are reasonable fears that they will commit a criminal organization, terrorism offence, a sexual offence against someone under the age of 16, or a “serious personal injury offence.”

In 2008 new reforms gave Crown counsel the ability to notify the court of a DO application should the accused by convicted of a third designated offence.

The court must prove that severe psychological damage was or was likely to have been done to the victim, and the accused is then sent for a ssychological assessment.

Hopley’s assessment will determine if he is a DO, and if it is decided he does not fit the criteria, he will be evaluated for long-term offender status.

A DO declaration imposes an indefinite prison term – the toughest punishment under Canadian law, and as previously mentioned, a status that has been reserved for Canada’s most dangerous and violent criminals. A long-term offender will get a set prison term, but will be monitored either for life, or for 10 years after completing the prison time.

In her decision Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes cited Hopley’s criminal record, which included a conviction for sexual assault in September, 1985. He served two years in prison and three years probation. Hopley protested the second charge used as a basis for the DO assessment, which was a break and enter from March 2008. Charges of sexual assault were stayed in that case, and Hopley received 18 months.

Holmes noted that all offences for which Hopley is currently appearing in court for are punishable by a sentence of 10 years or more. She also told court that one of the victims in the previous crimes committed by Hopley did suffer prolonged psychiatric difficulties.

While the Crown did not establish that severe psychological damage had been done in the case of the Hebert family, Holmes determined it was likely that the crimes against Kienan could have to a different family.

“I’m satisfied that the low threshold is met,” she said. “It is clear that Mr. Hopley has been convicted previously of a designated offence.”

 

Just Posted

HIGHLIGHTS: Kootenay ICE shutout by Calgary Hitmen

ICE set to face Red Deer Rebels on the road tomorrow night

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Cranbrook

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the Federal New Democratic Party, stopped in… Continue reading

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1909

For the Week of November 11-17: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Stewart Taylor left a musical legacy behind

The Cranbrook musical community is mourning the passage of one of its central personalities

Montreal-based author pens crime novel starring Cranbrook protagonist

Montreal-based, Kimberley-born writer Del Chatterson has published his first fiction novel, and… Continue reading

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

World O’ Words: Real bearcat! Real donnybrook! Heyrube!

Congratulations to the College of the Rockies Avalanche, Women’s and Men’s squads,… Continue reading

Payment for Sin? Or A New Vision?

Yme Woensdregt In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about… Continue reading

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read