Child sex offender Randall Hopley retains leave privileges despite November manhunt

A convicted child sex offender who vanished from a Vancouver halfway house for 10 days last year can still apply for leave, despite the high-profile manhunt in November.

A Parole Board of Canada Document shows there are no changes to Randall Hopley’s privileges. They include the ability to request leave, which must be approved by a parole supervisor.

The decision says an 8 p.m. curfew remains imposed on Hopley, and he is to wear an electric monitoring bracelet — as he did before. The decision notes the Correctional Service of Canada has recommended “the loss of authorization for your leave privileges.”

The board says Hopley’s “most recent behaviours are concerning when it comes to any potential leave authorization.”

However, it “notes the required approval from your parole supervisor prior to the granting of any leaves and therefore does not believe it necessary to remove the previous authorization for you to participate in leave should your parole officer approve any.”

The Parole Board says charges are pending against Hopley.

Victims’ rights advocate concerned with decision

Dave Teixeira, a victims’ rights advocate, says “the judicial system is simply out of touch when it comes to child sex offenders.”

“It’s incredibly concerning that, once again, our judicial system is not protecting our kids,” Teixeira told CityNews Wednesday.

“Randall Hopley is someone who’s had numerous … inappropriate interactions with children and yet, once he cut off his ankle bracelet in 2023 and disappeared for 10 days, they decided that that wasn’t even enough to merit additional restrictions on his privileges out in the community.”

Hopley made headlines in 2011 for abducting a three-year-old boy from the child’s bed in Sparwood, B.C., prompting an Amber Alert.

He was released in 2018 on a 10-year long-term supervision order and moved to a halfway house in Vancouver.

It’s that facility that he went missing from on Nov. 4, 2023. That was just a couple of days before he was set to appear in court, after being charged with two counts of violating his supervision order earlier in the year when he was caught at a public library being too close to children.

The VPD said in November it was believed Hopley had cut off his ankle monitoring bracelet and “took evasive steps to avoid police and to avoid detection for 10 days.”

The man was arrested on Nov. 14 in the Downtown Eastside, outside the Vancouver police station on East Cordova Street near Main Street. The VPD said at the time that Hopley’s intention was to turn himself in because he was cold. Police added he likely ran out of resources and food.

Teixeira says he feel anyone who has committed crimes and who violate the conditions they are bound by should face further restrictions, as well as mental health supports.

“Hopley has refused in the past these supports. He’s been accessing inappropriate material online, etcetera etcetera. So he continues to violate the privileges he’s had, yet the Parole Board decides that he can continue to do that,” he explained.

‘Clearly, there is a problem here’: premier

B.C. Premier David Eby also didn’t mince words when he was asked about his feelings around the decision Wednesday.

He said he “couldn’t fathom the original decision” to grant Hopley the privileges he had prior to the incident at the library, let alone after.

According to Eby, Hopley breaching conditions showed the man “demonstrated that he had complete contempt for the rules that were supposed to bind his conduct.”

“He was then released back to community with nothing more than an ankle bracelet protecting kids from him. He broke that bracelet off, wandered off into community, and terrified parents across the province that he was going to show up in their house in the middle of the night just like he did before. I am one of those parents,” the premier said.

“Clearly, there is something that is not working here. Clearly, there is a problem here, and the problem is definitely Randall Hopley but it is also a system that allows him to continually be released back into our community to put kids at risk. It’s not acceptable.”

Eby says he plans to reach out to his federal counterparts “so they can address this.”

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