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Storied past for alleged abductor Hopley

While Randall P. Hopley is still at large, The Free Press in partnership with the Canbrook Daily Townsman dug up some old articles about Hopley from our files.
46-year-old Randall Hopley.

While Randall P. Hopley is still at large, The Free Press in partnership with the Cranbrook Daily Townsman dug up some old articles about Hopley from our files. See below for five disturbing past articles.

hopley, randall 2007-11-26

By DEAN BASSETT Townsman Staff

CRANBROOK - An area resident will remain in custody pending his trial for attempting to snatch a young boy from a residence. On Monday, 42 year-old Randall P. Hopley appeared before Judge Ron Webb in the Cranbrook Law Courts.

Hopley appeared by video from Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre and was represented in the court room by venerable public defender Greg Sawchuk.

Hopley is charged with one count of break and enter, one count of unlawful confinement and one count of abduction of a person under 14 years of age. Crown counsel Andrew Mayes sought and received a publication ban for the bail hearing to both protect the  victim. Mayes was also concerned that any evidence published at this early date could jeopardize a jury trial if the case goes that route.

Details of the accusations can only be published at the conclusion of the file.

Sawchuk noted that the accused doesn't have any convictions for failing to attend court, which is the primary grounds for keeping an accused in jail.

"There is no basis for detention on the primary grounds," Webb said. "Detention is necessary on the secondary and tertiary grounds." However having regard to all the circumstances, Webb ruled detention was necessary for the protection of the public and to prevent the possibility of a further criminal offence.

"The community would be appalled if the accused was out and had the possibility to contact this young person," Webb said. Mayes also produced the accused's previous criminal record for the court proceedings.

Hopley's next court appearance is set for Jan. 7, 2008. In the meantime, Mayes and Sawchuk await the results of fingerprints taken by investigators.

The Crown is proceeding by indictment. If Hopley is found guilty he could face 10 years in jail on the abduction and forcible confinement charges. Break and enter carries a maximum penalty of life in jail, although this maximum is rarely imposed.


hopley, randall 2008-03-31

By DEAN BASSETT Townsman Staff

CRANBROOK – A Sparwood resident will be cooling his heals in jail for breaking into a home in an attempt to kidnap a mentally challenged boy.

On Monday, Provincial Court Judge Ron Webb sentenced 42-year-old Randall P. Hopley to 18-months in jail for a break-in that occurred last November.

Hopley pleaded guilty to one count of break and enter but the charge doesn’t quite paint a full picture of his crime. He was also charged with one count of unlawful confinement and one count of abduction but those two charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence.

“This charge will show up as a break-and-enter,” Webb said. “It’s better seen as an attempt to kidnap a vulnerable 10-year-old from his foster parents.”

Once out of jail Hopley will be placed on probation for three years. The first six months of the probation will be served under house arrest, followed by another half year with a tight curfew.

“I like the idea of having you supervised,” Webb said of Hopley’s post jail period.

Crown counsel Andrew Mayes emphasized there wasn’t a single piece of forensic evidence (specifically fingerprints) linking the accused to the break-in. The 10-year-old boy - and main witness - was described as being a high needs child with a low IQ.

“It’s based solely on (Hopley’s) confession to police,” Mayes said of the charge.

Mayes noted Hopley pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan. 25. In short, Hopley claimed he tried to abduct the 10-year-old boy from foster care and transfer him to his biological parents for $2,800.

The circumstances of the crime began on Nov. 5, 2007. On that night the foster mom became suspicious that somebody was outside her home. She went into the boy’s room. The 10-year-old indicated hearing somebody outside his window and then a flashlight shone inside. The battery to the home alarm was found in the yard later that day.

On Nov. 7 the foster mother heard the young boy talking to somebody in his room. As she got up to investigate, somebody ran out the backdoor. The boy informed the mother Hopley had been in the room and tried to force him out a window. The screen from the bedroom window had been removed. At that time, the foster mom noticed a bottle of the lad’s prescription medicine was missing.

Hopley told investigators he had taken the bottle but hid it in the boy’s room, where it was later recovered. Webb noted that on the night of the attempted abduction Hopley entered the residence at 10:30 p.m. and waited in the home until 2:30 a.m. before making an unsuccessful attempt to get the boy out the residence. Hopley returned a second time, which was when he tried pushing the lad out the bedroom window.

During the Jan. 25 hearing, the court heard the suggestion that the abduction was retribution for Hopley sexually assaulting the youth - an accusation Hopley vehemently denied.

In the wake of the break-in, a search warrant of Hopley’s residence revealed pictures of the boy, a suitcase of children’s clothes, some of the boy’s medication and GoodNites (underwear for children who have bedwetting accidents). Some of the GoodNites were cut to imitate g-string style underwear. In January, Hopley denied the GoodNites were for the boy (who had bedwetting issues) but he would not explain their presence in his home.

In the final analysis, Webb concluded there wasn’t enough direct evidence to suggest Hopley planned to abduct the boy for anything other than a money transaction. Although, Webb noted Hockley was found guilty of a sexual assault in 1985 in “matters relating to children.”

Defense counsel Greg Sawchuk cautioned against making any connection that this was a sexually motivated act. “It’s obviously a matter of grave concern to the family and victims,” Webb said. “It’s something that never should have occurred. To suggest it was purely done as a business transaction is offensive.” Webb added, “To try and take (a 10-year-old) forcibly from his home for a few hundred dollars to support his own life is pathetic.”

Hopley indicated he did the crime to pay off debts. Mayes tendered Hopley’s record which included 11 previous break-in convictions, including one in 2006. Consequently, Mayes opposed the suggestion that Hopley could serve a conditional jail sentence in the community. Sawchuk suggested a conditional sentence, whereby a convicted person serves time under house arrest, might be appropriate instead of hard jail time.


Hopley, Randall-never ran

By BONNIE BRYAN Townsman Staff

Area resident Randall P. Hopley was before the court again last week, although not in person. Hopley appeared before Judge Ron Webb by video from a correctional facility in the Fraser Valley. Hopley, 42, pleaded guilty to one charge of break and enter with intent to commit offence, with the other charges of one count of unlawful confinement or imprisonment and one count of abduction of a person under 16 likely to be stayed as they stem from the first charge.

Details of the circumstances surrounding the charges were revealed in Cranbrook Law Courts on Friday, January 25.

Last fall, on the evening of November 5 in Sparwood the foster mother of the young boy the charges surround became suspicious that someone was outside her residence. She went into the boy's room and he told her he had heard knocking at his window and someone shining a flashlight through his window. The battery to the residence's alarm system was found taken out of the system in the yard.

Two days later on November 7, the foster mother heard the young boy talking in his room and when she got up she heard someone go out the backdoor. She could find no one but later heard the same thing.

The young boy told her it had been Hopley in his room. According to the boy, Hopley had tried to force him out the window in his bedroom but the boy screamed, drawing the attention of his foster mother. The screen on his bedroom window was visibly damaged and partially removed. It was also noticed a bottle of the boy's medication was missing. Hopley later told RCMP he had taken the bottle but hid it in the boy's room, where it was later found.

Hopley maintains his actions were simply part of a business transaction, that he was paid $2,800 by the boy's biological mother to take the boy from his foster home. The boy's biological mother told Hopley the deed would be retribution for sexually assaulting the young boy. Hopley denies he sexually assaulted the youth.

Mayes told the court the young boy is a special needs child who is cognitively under developed. The boy has temper problems, is prone to outbursts, lying and has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and was also known to have problems with bedwetting.

Through a search warrant RCMP searched Hopley's Sparwood residence, and found pictures of the boy, a suitcase of children's clothes, some of the boy's medication, and GoodNites, underwear for children who have bedwetting accidents while sleeping. Some of the GoodNites were cut into a g-string style of underwear.

Hopley denied the GoodNites were for the young boy but would not shed any light on who they were for or why they were at his residence. He also said the suitcase of children's clothes were just items he had found while dumpster diving.

Hopley's lawyer, Greg Sawchuk, asked that a pre-sentence report be prepared and Mayes asked that psychiatric assessment also be done. Sawchuk told Webb he would advise Hopley not to agree to a psychiatric assessment.

Webb expressed concern that the author of a pre-sentence report may not be able to prepare one without a psychiatric assessment and by refusing to consent to one Hopley would only be delaying things.

In the end, despite his comment Webb was not satisfied a psychiatric assessment was needed and so Mayes' request was denied.

The matter will be back in Cranbrook Law Courts on February 26.


hopley, randall Unknown Date

By Dean Bassett Townsman Writer

A Sparwood man accused of sexually assaulting a young boy must go through a new trial this fall.

Randy Hopley, 34, who stands accused of sexual assault and sexual interference must wait until Oct. 5 for a new Supreme Court trial to begin in Cranbrook.

The jurors in his trial, which ended last Wednesday couldn't agree on an outcome. As a result, the presiding judge declared it a miss trial.

The two charges stem from incidents alleged to occur between Jan. 1, 1992 and Dec. 31, 1992, when the complainant was eight-years old. Both Sexual assault and sexual interference carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Sexual interference is defined under Canada's Criminal Code as sexually touching any body part of a person under the age of 14.

hopley, randall 2011-05-19

By MEGAN COLE The Free Press Staff

A Sparwood man appeared in court in Cranbrook yesterday after being held in the Kamloops Regional Correctional Facility.

“It’s pretty unusual that someone wouldn’t be held locally to await trial,” said Const. Sheena Fulton of the Elk Valley RCMP. Elk Valley RCMP arrested Randall Peter Hopley last month.

The Elk Valley RCMP received a report on April 27 that Hopley was suspected to be in violation of his bail ordered conditions.

The RCMP located Hopley and he was arrested. He went before a judge and was remanded in custody in Kamloops. Fulton said that Hopley has caused quite a bit of trouble locally.

Hopley appeared yesterday for charges of assault, and three charges of failing to comply with court ordered conditions.

Since May 2002, Hopley has been found guilty of two breaking and entering charges, and a charge for theft of $5,000 or under.

He was also arrested in the Crowsnest Pass in May 2010 after he was found living in someone else’s cabin and was in possession of several stolen items including ATVs, trailers, a camper, generators, vehicle batteries, gas tanks, propane tanks, electronics equipment, food, and furniture.


Andrea Horton

About the Author: Andrea Horton

Andrea began her career in the newspaper industry in 2007 as a reporter with The Free Press in Fernie, B.C. In 2017, she relocated to Salmon Arm to work as the publisher of the Salmon Arm Observer.
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