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Sentencing expected for man and woman in B.C. child bride case

Sentencing expected for man and woman in B.C. child bride case
From CTV - August 11, 2017

CRANBROOK, B.C. - A B.C. judge is expected to sentence today a man and woman who took a 13-year-old girl into the United States over a decade ago to marry the now-imprisoned leader of a polygamous sect.

Former husband and wife Brandon Blackmore and Gail Blackmore were found guilty by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in February of the charge of taking a child under the age of 16 out of Canada for sexual purposes.

The trial heard that in 2004, the girl was secreted into the United States to marry Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who is serving a life sentence for assaulting two of his child brides. Jeffs was 49 at the time.

At a sentencing hearing last month, special prosecutor Peter Wilson argued that Brandon Blackmore, 71, should serve a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months, while Gail Blackmore, who is 60, should get six to 12 months.

Wilson said the sentence must deter other members of the secluded community of Bountiful in southeastern British Columbia, where plural marriage is practised.

"Deterrence might have particular importance in this case because other persons who could potentially commit the offence are, I would say, a very, narrow group," Wilson said. "The likely group of potential offenders is probably small and could very well be limited to other adherents of the FLDS as it's being espoused by Mr. Jeffs."

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. He said the girl and many women in the church live cloistered lives.

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