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Tuesday July 31st, 2012  
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After a two day sentencing hearing on July 18th and 19th, Supreme Court will wait until August to hear the judge’s decision on Randall Hopley’s fate.
Hopley has pleaded guilty to abducting three year old Kienan Hebert from his Sparwood home last fall, as well as breaking and entering with intent to commit an indictable offense. Justice Heather Holmes retired from B.C. Supreme Court in Cranbrook on Thursday, and will have until August 9th to review and consider submissions from the Crown and defense, in order to decide how to sentence Hopley.
Justice Holmes not only has to decide on Hopley’s sentence, but whether or not to declare him a dangerous offender, as requested from Crown counsel Lynal Doerksen. Dangerous offender status is currently the most severe penalty in Canada, and would result in Hopley being incarcerated for an indefinite period of time. In order to be given dangerous offender status, the accused must have two or more previous convictions with sentences of at least two years. Doerksen reasoned in court that while Hopley has two prior sentences of just 18 months, they could be considered two years once parole and other conditions are included.
Hopley was previously convicted in 1985 for sexually assaulting a five year old boy, and in 2007 for a failed attempt at abducting a ten year old youth.
 

However William Thorne, acting as defence for Hopley, believes it’s a tough stretch to bring his previous sentences to two years, and that there is no evidence suggesting Kienan Hebert was psychologically damaged from the abduction. Thorne also said that all the cases Doerksen brought in front of the court to demonstrate the dangerous offender status involved a sexual element.
Thorne stated in court, “We don’t have any violence; any mistreatment. A simple man did a stupid thing, but he did not hurt the boy.” He went on to add, “He is a middle-aged man with the maturity and manner, in many ways, of a child.”
The Hebert family did not submit victim-impact statements to the court and are trying to move on from the abduction. They relocated to Alberta’s Peace River area in May and as sentencing began on July 18th, Kienan’s father, Paul Hebert, commented, “We are just going to work. We are just moving on. We are happy to have Kienan back and let God sort the rest out. We just wish not to have our family put through this all over again.”
Based on the Crown’s recommendations, Justice Holmes has committed Hopley to a 60 day psychiatric examination, and will reserve her decision when Supreme Court reconvenes on August 9th and 10th
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