(Canadian Press)

Former husband and wife get jail time in B.C. child bride case

Emily and Brandon Blackmore sentenced for taking a child to the U.S. to marry their religious leader

Two members associated with the polygamous community of Bountiful have been sentenced to prison terms for their role in removing their underage daughter from Canada to marry a religious mormon fundamentalist leader in the United States.

Brandon James Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore were sentenced by Justice Paul Pearlman to 12 months and seven months, respectively, along with 18 months probation following their prison terms.

Both were charged with the removal of a child from Canada under a criminal code subsection that the removal would facilitate sex offences following the marriage of their 13-year-old daughter to Warren Jeffs, the leader and prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the United States in 2004.

The courtroom, full of supporters dressed in traditional clothing worn by members of the FLDS, audibly gasped when Pearlman misspoke and said seven years instead of seven months for Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore. One woman stormed out of the courtroom in anger, before Pearlman clarified his error following his remarks.

Another woman also attempted to address the judge, but was denied.

“Everybody happy? I’ll bet you are,” said Brandon Blackmore, after he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom by the BC Sheriff Service

The removal of a child from Canada charge was approved against Brandon Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore by Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson in 2014. A third co-accused, James Marion Oler, was acquitted after the trial process, however, Wilson has announced his intent to launch an appeal.

The charge stems from an order from Jeffs on Feb. 26, 2004, who called Blackmore and told him that “the Lord had revealed that his 13-year-old daughter belonged to me and we would discuss that when he brought her down south…” according to an entry into a priesthood record seized by US law enforcement at an FLDS compound in Texas and submitted as evidence.

FLDS marriage records also collected from the same seizure indicate Jeffs and Blackmore’s daughter were married on March 1, 2004.

Jeffs was arrested by US law enforcement in Nevada in 2006 and was convicted of sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault of children in Texas. He is currently serving a life sentence.

Crown had askied for a jail term between 12-18 months for Brandon Blackmore, while a jail term of six to 12 months for Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore.

During a sentencing hearing in June, Blackmore’s lawyer, John Gustafson, said a pre-sentencing report indicates his client has had insight since the removal incident. Pearlman noted the report expressed Blackmore’s personal belief that his his children shouldn’t marry or engage in sexual activity until 18 years of age. However, in bringing his daughter to Jeffs, his belief in FLDS doctrine prevailed over his personal beliefs as a parent.

Gustafson had argued that a conditional sentence would be appropriate, while Joe Doyle, who was appointed amicus curiae — a friend of the court to counterbalance the prosecution — suggested a 90 conditional sentence for Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore.

Pearlman said in his ruling that he needed to balance the sentencing principles of deterrence and denunciation, and concluded that a conditional sentence was not appropriate.

“While the sentencing range does provide some guidance, bear in mind, sentencing is an individual process and I must determine a fit sentence for each offender taking into account their circumstances and the circumstances of the event,” Pearlman said.

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship program awarded annually to undergraduate students

Three Sooke residents are among 163 B.C. Students who received a record… Continue reading

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

Sooke hires two additional firefighters

Ben Temple and Grayson Kerr began Nov. 6

EMCS Sr. Girls volleyball team making Sooke history

Team headed to compete in Island championships for first time in 15 years this weekend

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

VIDEO: Tragically Hip members, Alex Trebek receive Order of Canada

Newest recipients join 6,897 Canadians such as Christine Sinclair, Graham Greene and Mark Messier

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dies at 64

‘Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many.’

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

LETTER: CRD director has ally in water battle

Re: Juan de Fuca gets nod for mediation (News, Nov. 15) I… Continue reading

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Most Read