Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, killed on duty in Cloverdale in 1974. (RCMP photo)

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

A Surrey cop killer originally sentenced to death by hanging has had one of his parole conditions removed and two more imposed by the Parole Board of Canada.

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot in cold blood on 176th Street in Cloverdale, near the railway tracks, on March 29, 1974.

John Harvey Miller, 28, and Vincent John Roger Cockriell, 18, were drunk and hunting for a cop to shoot as they drove through Cloverdale in their 1964 Dodge. Cockriell wanted revenge, blaming the law for the death of his brother, who was killed during a high-speed police chase.

The pair threw a beer bottle through the police station window. After luring Pierlet out, and he pulled them over, the young Mountie told Miller to get out of the vehicle.

As Pierlet stood in front of the open car door, Cockriell, from his passenger’s side, squeezed off a shot from a 30-30 Winchester rifle. The bullet hit Pierlet in the chest, killing him almost instantly. It would have been the Mountie’s last shift before he went on leave to get married.

In Pierlet’s memory, the 176th Street overpass just south of Highway 10 was named after him and two bronze plaques were mounted on concrete pillars on its north end. Originally hailing from Montreal, Pierlet had been posted to what was then the Cloverdale detachment. He is buried in the RCMP’s graveyard at Depot Division, in Regina.

READ ALSO: How fallen Surrey Mountie’s Stetson ended up in Europe puzzles police

READ ALSO: New monument honours fallen Surrey RCMP officers

The two killers were originally sentenced to death, but these were commuted to life sentences after capital punishment was abolished in Canada in 1976.

Miller died of a stroke in 2009.

Cockriell, now 63, received full parole in 1998. On Oct. 1, 2019 the Parole Board decided to remove a condition requiring him to abstain from all intoxicants.

“Your health and medical issues are significant and have limited your daily functioning and mobility,” it reasoned. “The recommended change in special conditions does not alter the expectations of the Board that you abstain from substances and take medications only as prescribed.”

It imposed two other conditions: “Not to consume, possess or purchase alcohol,” and “not to consume, purchase or possess drugs other than prescribed medication. To be taken as prescribed and over the counter drugs taken as recommended by the manufacturer, excluding cannabis purchased, consumed and possessed in accordance with the Cannabis Act.”

The Correctional Service of Canada suspended Cockriell’s full parole in December 2000 for being intoxicated at a welfare office and suspended it again in June 2001 and sent him to a drug treatment program after he “blacked out” at a grocery store. This suspension was cancelled in July 2001 and he was returned to a community residential facility.

Outside prison, he has been on a disability pension for shoulder, neck and arthritis problems and also related to a cancer diagnosis. In October 2011 all of his teeth were removed, and he underwent surgery in January 2013 to have part of his esophagus removed and in March 2013, was put back into a residential facility for “over-using” prescription medications, and having a fall outside his home.

According to the document, Cockriell required hospital treatment on several occasions and his weight dropped to under 130 pounds. In August 2014, his parole was again suspended after police spotted him “having trouble walking,” slurring, and with two cans of beer and an empty bottle of pain medication that had been prescribed just five days earlier. He “transitioned” back to his own home and in January 2015 moved in with two other long-term offenders.

The board noted Cockriell had recently “self-reported” two breaches with marijuana after his parole officer smelled in on him. He said he was using it for “pain and nausea reasons.”

“Psychological assessment information on file indicates low risk to re-offend,” the board document states. “You completed all recommended programming many years ago.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

Port Alberni’s Old Puckers playing for BC Children’s Hospital

CFOX’s hockey team will make the long trek to central Vancouver Island for the game

BIZ BEAT: Get a head start on spring cleaning in Port Alberni

Chris Fenton walks across a desert to raise funds for ACAWS

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Shopping cart collector at B.C. Costco awarded $583,000 after getting pinned by car

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when a driver backed into him in the parking lot

Most Read