New documents from the Parole Board of Canada show Vancouver Island Mounties oppose allowing a drunk driver who killed an officer in April 2016 to return to the community.
A decision from Aug. 31 notes that although Kenneth Jacob Fenton has shown improvement and has been largely compliant with the conditions of his day parole, they don’t agree with his proposal to return to Vancouver Island when he is scheduled to be released in March 2021.
Fenton struck and killed Const. Sarah Beckett in the island community of Langford on April 2016 while driving away from another police cruiser.
He had alcohol, cocaine and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.
The Correctional Service of Canada and RCMP opposed Fenton’s proposal to return to an unspecified place on Vancouver Island, noting the potential negative and violent consequences he could face.
The Parole Board says those concerns are supported by comments made at Fenton’s trial by the judge who said that Fenton’s parents have been stigmatized and villified as a result of his actions and their business vandalized.
“You must not return to Vancouver Island without the prior written consent of your parole supervisor. Because of the intense level of media coverage of your offence, your return, if publicized, has the potential to create a hostile, even violent public reaction,” the board wrote in its decision.
The board added that Fenton’s plan to open a business on Vancouver Island could be impacted by a negative public reaction to his return and could lead to significant emotional and financial stress.
Several special conditions have also been imposed upon Fenton’s release, ranging from not consuming, possessing or purchasing alcohol to not contacting or interacting with friends or family members of the victim.
This report was first published by the Canadian Press on Sept. 4, 2020.