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

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

City of Port Alberni to move forward with ‘Quay to Quay’ pathway

Port Alberni city council has proposed connecting Victoria Quay to Harbour Quay

BC Hydro urges caution over planned flow increases on Ash River

River flow increases will assist fish migration, but could pose safety risk to humans

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Indigenous regalia stolen from car in Port Alberni

RCMP are asking for information on three ceremonial items

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read