(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

Wet your whistle at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Chilliwack Academy of Music’s annual event is back at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

UFV Cascades baseball coach joins Los Angeles Dodger organization

Former Chicago Cub farmhand Wes Darvill is back in affiliated baseball.

Chilliwack teachers vote for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action following trustee’s comments has created unsafe workplace, they claim

Handful of Chilliwack water main breaks reported this winter

None were catastrophic but it meant crews had to dig down and clamp the problem pipe

Heritage Chilliwack launches new grant for heritage home owners

The grant of up to $500 is for Chilliwack home owners applying for heritage designation

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Input sought for major road works for Maple Ridge

Consultation on Haney Bypass upgrades

Pitt councillors don’t support CP Rail underpass

Gateway projects will need city support says MP Ruimy

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Carpet bowlers have been excluded from BC 55+ Games and Canada 55+ Games

Gold medal carpet bowling winners not able to defend their titles in 2018

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries’ enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

UPDATE: Police release new footage, launch website in hunt for 13-year-old’s killer

IHIT say no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Marrisa Shen’s death

Rural B.C. students score visit with Canadiens netminder Carey Price

Two students from the Chilcotin can hardly wait to meet hometown hero Carey Price in Montreal.

Most Read