Kenneth Jacob Fenton, centre, gets into a waiting vehicle after pleading guilty in 2017 to two charges relating to the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett. (Black Press Media file photo)

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

The man convicted in the drunk driving crash that led to the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett has been granted day parole for six months.

Kenneth Fenton was given a five-and-a-half year prison sentence in July 2017.

Beckett, 32, was killed in the line of duty in April 2016 when Fenton, who was speeding away from another police car, struck the driver’s side of her cruiser. Beckett, a mother of two boys, had recently returned to work after maternity leave.

Fenton’s first parole hearing was Jan. 21. He was granted limited day parole to attend alcohol abuse treatment in the Fraser Valley in a program that would last about 70 days.

At the time, Beckett’s widower Brad Aschenbrenner said Fenton needed treatment but felt disgusted that he was let out to receive it.

Now, Aschenbrenner says he is still disgusted and is looking to local politicians for an answer as to why Fenton was granted parole.

“I’m just absolutely disgusted on how Canada can have these values,” Aschenbrenner told Black Press Media in a phone interview Saturday, calling Fenton’s punishment “a slap on the wrist.”

Fenton’s trial heard his truck was travelling at up to 90 kilometres per hour when it rammed Beckett’s cruiser at an intersection. He later pleaded guilty to charges relating to driving with blood alcohol content of over 0.08, causing an accident resulting in bodily harm, as well as failing to stop for police.

One month after the crash, Fenton lost control of his vehicle again while impaired by alcohol and speeding away from police. His vehicle rolled over and he caused injury to himself and a passenger.

READ ALSO: Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Aschenbrenner said he knew Fenton was due for another parole hearing this week, but after providing an impact statement he found out Fenton withdrew his right to a panel hearing.

As a result, the Parole Board of Canada conducted a paper review of Fenton’s file and informed Aschenbrenner of the decision that was made in-camera. Aschenbrenner said he believes the family should have a right to be there during the process.

“I don’t understand why any criminal should have the right to a closed-door hearing,” Aschenbrenner said.

The Parole Board of Canada granted Fenton day parole for six months with special conditions. Fenton must return to the facility he is currently in nightly. He will need to demonstrate a period of stability and compliance before any overnight leave is considered.

READ ALSO: Husband of slain RCMP officer ‘disgusted and disheartened’ by parole board

Additionally, Fenton must not consume, purchase or possess alcohol and drugs other than prescribed medication.

He must not have direct or indirect contact with Beckett’s family, friends or co-workers and he must report all intimate relationships and friendships with females to his supervisor. In fact, he can’t enter West Shore communities including Colwood, Metchosin, Langford or Sooke.

He can’t own or operate a motor vehicle and Fenton must follow a treatment plan or program arranged by his parole supervisor.

According to the Parole Board of Canada decision, the board considered Fenton’s sentence and the incidents that led to his incarceration as well as victim impact statements.

“These statements express the trauma and loss that the family of the deceased officer, wife, mother and daughter experienced at the time of death and onward,” the decision reads. “They reflect the shock of the community. Serious harm occurred.”

The decision also says that Fenton demonstrated “a disregard for the safety of others for a long time prior to the index offence” with reports noting his drunk driving increased in severity over time. Fenton’s file also says he has had issues with alcohol abuse for most of his adult life, using alcohol to cope with the suicides of his friends.

“But he has yet to accept responsibility of his actions,” Aschenbrenner said.

In his personal impact statement, Aschenbrenner notes Fenton’s “irresponsible” behaviour dating back to 2010, stating that had he been held accountable for earlier offences, Beckett may not have been killed.

“This did not only affect me, my boys, my family, it has completely torn apart the West Shore detachment,” his statement reads.

“Especially when the courts have failed them up to this point. Driving through that intersection reliving the video of the first responders pulling my wife’s broken body from her cruise is unbearable.

“How do you think all the other first responders think driving through that intersection? And they have to do it every day.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar autism workshop helps parents cope with wait times

Kootenay Family Place holding workshop Feb. 1

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

RDKB urges caution when reading into early snowpack reports

Staff say it’s too early in the season to have a strong handle on water flow projections

Treading snowy trails across the Boundary

Before the rain came this week, trails in the Boundary were well-travelled

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read