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No new restrictions on B.C. sex offender Hopley, who went on the run: parole board

High-risk B.C. sex offender Randall Hopley, who went on the run for 10 days in November, will still be allowed overnight community leave with the approval of his parole officer, after the parole board decided not to impose new restrictions.

Premier Eby says it isn't acceptable that sex offender has been 'released again with the same conditions'

A man in his 50s is seen in two mugshot images.

High-risk B.C. sex offender Randall Hopley, who went on the run for 10 days in November, will still be allowed overnight community leave with the approval of his parole officer, after the parole board decided not to impose new restrictions.

Premier David Eby says he "can't fathom" the ruling and it isn't acceptable that Hopley, who abducted a three-year-old boy in 2011, has been "released again with the same conditions."

The board says in a decision issued on Friday that Hopley repeatedly breached conditions of a long-term supervision order before walking away from a halfway house in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Nov. 4.

Conditions of Hopley's release include that he not be near children nor around places where children under the age of 16 are likely to congregate. He must live in a specified residential facility under curfew and not use a device that would give him unsupervised access to the internet.

The parole board says his release under the supervision order has been suspended four times since 2019 for breaches of conditions.

"[You] were secretive in your association with another high-profile sex offender and spent a lot of time buying lingerie and accessing pornography and dating sites," the decision said of Hopley's behaviour in 2018.

In November 2022, his long-term supervision order was suspended again after he was seen using a computer at a library, browsing underwear advertisements, reading a news article about a young boy and being within a metre of a group of children in the library.

But the parole board says there's no evidence the breaches were related to his authorization for overnight leave, and no changes were needed to the supervision order.

Eby, speaking at an unrelated event in Vancouver on Wednesday, says he'll be reaching out to federal authorities about the system that allowed Hopley to be repeatedly released into the community "to put kids at risk."

"It's not acceptable. I'll be reaching out to federal counterparts about this, so they can address this," he said.

The board's decision, which was made public on Wednesday, came after the Correctional Service of Canada recommended that Hopley be stripped of leave privileges.

Hopley received a 10-year supervision order after serving a six-year prison term for abducting the three-year-old boy in southeastern B.C.

He went on the run after failing to show up in court in November to face charges of breaching the supervision order, and the parole board cites police saying he faces additional charges for absconding.

Sgt. Steve Addison, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department, said in a statement to CBC News that police had recommended to Crown counsel that Hopley be denied bail and remain in custody.

"His violent history, his repeated failures to obey the conditions of his release, and his deliberate actions to avoid capture after fleeing his halfway house last fall, have caused a lot of families to worry for their safety," Addison said.

"We know this news [of Hopley's overnight leave] will not sit well with many of the people we serve."

The parole board did not immediately respond when asked if Hopley remained in custody.

A spokesperson for the premier's office says there's "no indication" that Hopley has been released on bail, as he faces new charges related to breaches of conditions.

With files from Zahra Premji

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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