Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Kienan 'doing great,' says father of child who was abducted, returned

Paul Hebert at his home in Sparwood, B.C., Sept. 12, 2011.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Three-year-old Kienan Hebert, who was abducted, held for four days and then returned, is "doing great" although he continues to have nightmares, his father, Paul Hebert, says.

"He's a little trooper, he's just carrying on," Mr. Hebert said on Wednesday in an interview.

But at night, it's a bit different. "[In his sleep,]he'll say, 'I don't want to go,' and stuff like that," Mr. Hebert said.

Story continues below advertisement

Kienan wakes up from his nightmares and goes into his parents' room to cuddle up for the rest of the night, Mr. Hebert said. "It definitely left an impact on him."

In a highly unusual incident, Kienan was taken from his home in the remote B.C. community of Sparwood earlier this month and brought back apparently safe four days later.

Randal Hopley, 46, has been charged with kidnapping, abduction and break and enter. He is in custody and the court has ordered a psychiatric assessment to see if he is fit to stand trial.

Mr. Hopley was identified by psychiatrists and his case workers 25 years ago as a dangerous pedophile who would be a high risk to re-offend unless he was kept in a penitentiary or under 24-hour supervision in the community.

Kienan was tested to see if he had been assaulted, Mr. Hebert said. "We have done a lot of things with him and there are no signs of anything being done to him," Mr. Hebert said.

Mr. Hebert compared the incident to the tale of Daniel in the lion's den from the Bible. "Daniel was in the lion's den, the lions were hungry, but they never ate him. It's the same thing," he said.

The abductor did nothing and may have wanted just a friend, rather than a play-mate, Mr. Hebert said.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Hebert said he was not shocked that Mr. Hopley, who was identified as a danger, had been in the community. Everyone knows the Canadian corrections system is not working as it should, he said.

But he could offer no solutions. "I'm not really one of those people who can point a finger at government and say, this is what you need to do, because I do not have any answers for them," he said. "There are more educated, professional people out there who do not have answers. If they do not have any answers, someone like myself definitely does not have an answer."

He expressed no animosity toward Mr. Hopley. "We do not want to see anybody, including Mr. Hopley, picked apart. Anybody under a microscope is not going to look good. In his case, unfortunately, it is even worse than most people."

The incident has led to an increase in security at the Hebert home. He hoped others were also "educated" by what happened to his son. "The bogey man story is real," he said.

Court documents obtained by CTV this week show that Mr. Hopley was identified as a dangerous pedophile in reports prepared in 1986. At that time, he was serving two years for the sexual assault of a five-year old boy and for failing to comply with a mandatory supervision order. There is no record of Mr. Hopley being convicted of sexual assault since 1985.

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.