A year after a parole board said it was concerned about his risk to reoffend, a convicted child abductor has been released and is living in Vancouver.
Randall Hopley was sentenced to seven years in November 2013, but was given two years’ credit for time served. His mandatory release date was set for next Monday.
In a statement announcing his release, Vancouver police said they also believe he poses a risk of significant harm to the safety of young boys.
“I want to make it clear, Mr. Hopley has completed his sentence… He was in custody for the whole time,” Const. Jason Doucette told CTV Vancouver following the statement.
“I understand that is frustrating for members of the public. From a policing perspective that is frustrating too. We don’t get to choose which federal offenders are deemed a high risk, where they get to live.”
The 53-year-old was convicted of snatching a sleeping three-year-old child from a second-floor bedroom in Sparwood back in 2011. Hopley took Kienan Hebert to another province and kept him for four days. He returned the boy, who was physically unharmed, following a public plea from the child's parents.
He then called police anonymously to inform them the boy was back home.
Hopley pleaded guilty to the abduction, breaking and entering and possession of stolen property. He received the sentence, which came with an additional 10 years of supervision following his release.
Among the conditions of his release, Hopley cannot be in, near or around places where children under the age of 16 are likely to gather unless accompanied by an adult previously approved in writing by his parole supervisor, the Vancouver Police Department said. Those places include schools, parks, swimming pools and recreation centres.
He cannot be near anyone under the age of 16 unless accompanied by an adult who knows his criminal history and has been approved by his parole supervisor.
He is also under a daily curfew, and must be in his residence from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. In addition, he’s been prohibited from possessing a firearm and has had to submit a DNA sample to law enforcement officials.
Paul Hebert, the victim’s father, told CTV Calgary Thursday the family was shocked to hear of his release, and that they had not been notified.
“My anxiety level is pretty high right now,” said the dad, who lives in northern Alberta.
In the phone interview, Hebert described what his family went through as a nightmare with a miracle at the end. Hebert said the family prays what happened to them never happens to anyone else.
He said the justice system has to do better, and that the release challenged his faith in the justice system.
"Make sure you've got good locks on your door and a good security system. I don't think there's nothing wrong with being cautious and proactive at any time. Things can happen," he said.
Hopley was designated a long-term offender after courts heard he had a long history of offences against children, including sexual assault while living in a foster home as a teenager.
Last year, a federal parole board determined he would likely still harm a child if he was released.
In the board’s 2017 decision, they wrote he had not participated in psychological assessments, nor had he taken part in rehabilitation programs. He’d attended a sexual offender program, but did not complete a self-management plan.
“The facilitator indicates that during the program you did not present as engaged or interested. Your overall ability and commitment to manage your various risk factors remains unchanged and continues to be rated as needing a lot of improvement,” the board wrote.
Denying his parole at the time, the decision from the board said he showed “little remorse or understanding” in his criminal behaviour.
“In reaching its decision the Board noted your persistent pattern of violent offending, substantial degree of indifference,… and that you have not taken responsibility for your offending,” documents read.
“You continue to be assessed as high risk for sexual offending against children.”
Documents from the board say the Correctional Service of Canada maintained that even with a structured release plan and a zero tolerance policy, his risk could not be managed within the community if he'd been released early.
In the decision, the board said his behaviour indicates plans to engage in sexual behaviour over fantasy, and that he’s a high risk for sexual contact with pre-pubescent children, mostly males between the ages of four and 10.
Anyone who sees Hopley in violation of his conditions is asked to call 911 immediately. He’s been described as white, 5’9” and 150 pounds. He has brown hair, green eyes and often has a beard.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson and Scott Hurst