(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

Nathan Matthew receives Owl Award from SD73

Owl Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding, systemwide contributions to education

Former fire chief gets seven months in prison for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

Rock slide closes Hwy. 1 south of Ashcroft until Friday afternoon

A rock slide Thursday afternoon near Spences Bridge closed the highway in both directions

Barriere Legion installs executive and officers for 2018

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #242 in Barriere held their annual installation… Continue reading

Barriere Secondary athletics update for January 2018

Barriere Secondary Senior Boys Basketball Team are currently ranked seventh in the… Continue reading

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Most Read