Canada (McKoy’s News) – British Columbia Couple in Child-Bride Case: A man and woman from British Columbia in Canada, was sentenced to jail time for taking a 13-year-old girl into the United States to marry the now-imprisoned leader of their sect.
Couple in Child-Bride Case: Brandon Blackmore, 71, and Gail Blackmore, 60, formerly husband and wife, who hails from the polygamous community of Bountiful, were found guilty in the British Columbia Supreme Court in February of taking an underage girl across the border for a sexual purpose.
The B.C. Supreme Court judge has sentenced Brandon Blackmore to a year in jail, while his ex-wife, Gail Blackmore, will serve a term of seven months. Both have also been ordered to serve 18 months’ probation.
Sentence was handed down on Friday, August 11.
During Friday’s sentencing, Justice Paul Pearlman said that a term of imprisonment is warranted in this case.
It is alleged that the girl was taken into the United States in 2004 to marry Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who is now serving a life sentence for assaulting two of his child brides.
Justice Pearlman said it was important to “send a clear message to others, including members of the FLDS community” by imposing the jail term.
Pearlman said Brandon Blackmore’s “degree of culpability was high,” and the man didn’t express any remorse for taking the girl to the United States to marry a man who was 49 years old at the time.
The judge said Gail Blackmore was a willing participant in the girl’s removal from Canada.
In a sentencing hearing last month, Special prosecutor Peter Wilson told the court Brandon Blackmore should serve a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months, while Gail Blackmore should get six to 12 months.
Wilson said Brandon Blackmore is more culpable than his ex-wife, but both were present at the wedding of the girl and knew what would happen.
Wilson acknowledged there is no case law setting a precedent for sentencing, but asked the judge to consider the vulnerability of the young victim.
“The sentence should not only denounce but deter them and other members of their community from engaging in similar practice,” Wilson said in June.
Brandon Blackmore’s defence lawyer had asked for a conditional sentence instead, arguing his 71-year-old client has health problems.
At the time of the crime, the Blackmores were both members of the fundamentalist Mormon Church in the southeastern community of Bountiful, where it’s common for men to marry multiple women.
Contributed by Ashia Imani