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B.C. child sex offender appears confused when asked to address court

"I don't even know what is really going on here," said Randall Peter Hopley, who disappeared from his Vancouver halfway house for 10 days in November.
Randall Peter Hopley went missing for 10 days in November 2023.

The convicted child sex offender who disappeared from his Vancouver halfway house for 10 days in November 2023 appeared not to understand what was going on in Vancouver Provincial Court as he appeared for sentencing proceedings May 22.

On April 26, Randall Peter Hopley, 58, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching a long-term supervision order and failing to appear.

Judge Jennifer Oulton has already heard that Hopley failed to return to his Vancouver halfway house, the Salvation Army's Harbour Light facility, on Nov. 4. His electronic ankle monitoring bracelet was removed at Vancouver’s Main Street and East 8th Avenue. A Canada-wide warrant was subsequently issued.

He was missing for 10 days, a period that saw intense media coverage and wide public concern. The bracelet was never found.

Hopley turned himself in at a Vancouver Police Department building in the Downtown Eastside shortly after 6 a.m. on Nov. 14.

Hopley was given long-term sentence order in November 2018.

Crown prosecutor Jacinta Lawton has said Hopley should be jailed for four years. Defence lawyer Bobby Movassaghi suggested two years.

Oulton asked Hopley if he wanted to address the court.

“I have nothing to say but I don’t even know what is really going on here,” Hopley said via video from the institution where he is being held.

Movassaghi prompted his client, saying it was his chance to address the court or apologize for his actions.

“Umm, no,” Hopley said.

The Crown has said Hopley has “a disturbing record of offending against children” and is a high risk for sexual recidivism with a history of breaching court orders.

The case returns to court May 25.

Children’s story time

While Hopley has had problems with two long-term supervision orders, one November 2022 case involved him going to the Vancouver Public Library's Marpole branch. He was being followed by a police officer.

The constable saw Hopley enter the library and go directly to a computer terminal and begin using it, something he is barred from doing.

While on the computer, he was looking at ads and a website involving a 10-year-old boy.

However, the library was holding a children’s story hour at the time, meaning Hopley was in breach of a condition he stay away from children and not use devices to connect to the internet.

Meanwhile, Hopley served six years for a 2011 abduction of a child in southeastern B.C. He abducted a three-year-old boy from his home in Sparwood and was released with conditions under a long-term supervision order. Hopley held the boy captive in a cabin for four days before returning him unharmed. 

He was arrested in January 2023 for allegedly breaching those conditions by visiting the Marpole library and was released on bail. 

In 2008, Hopley was convicted of breaking and entering into a home and removing a child from his foster family. He was also convicted of sexual assault of a five-year-old boy and assault of a woman in a parking lot, Lawton said.