The Parole Board of Canada has ordered Kenneth Jacob Fenton, right, to return to a community residential facility after living on his own for some months. Fenton was convicted in 2017 on charges relating to the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Parole Board of Canada has ordered Kenneth Jacob Fenton, right, to return to a community residential facility after living on his own for some months. Fenton was convicted in 2017 on charges relating to the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sobriety concerns limit freedom of drunk driver in death of B.C. cop Sarah Beckett

Parole Board of Canada also revokes overnight privileges for Kenneth Jacob Fenton

  • Nov. 2, 2021 3:45 p.m.

Kenneth Jacob Fenton, convicted in 2017 for a variety of impaired driving charges in the Langford death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett, has had a tighter condition placed on his movements.

Fenton’s combined five-and-a-half year sentence in the death of Beckett, and a subsequent impaired driving-related crash near the Malahat a month later, is due to end in about 15 months. That schedule remains in place, but the Parole Board of Canada ruled Oct. 26 that he move back into a community residential facility for the remainder of his sentence and observe a 9 p.m. curfew.

“Overnight leave privileges are not authorized because you need to demonstrate stability and prolonged sobriety in the community given the nature of the risk you present,” reads a report outlining the board’s decision.

RELATED STORY: Drunk driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted overnight parole

The decision stated that Fenton, who had been living in his own apartment since March, has been mostly compliant in engaging with his correctional plan since he was sentenced, attending AA meetings, doing well on previous day parole and showing motivation to make changes in his life.

However, a September series of events that included his sharing a marijuana joint – he has a medical marijuana prescription – that he believed to be laced with cocaine, then hiding that fact from parole officers until a urinalysis test determined the truth, was a factor prompting his case management team to voice concern over the potential for harm should he use drugs, drink alcohol and drive. Overall, the report noted it showed a need for improvement in the areas of substance abuse and attitude.

“The risk that you pose to the public should you return to alcohol or drug use is significant, and while you have generally done well in the community, at this stage of your release the board finds that public protection requires a higher level of supervision and monitoring than can be provided by you living at your own residence.”

Fenton, who remains prohibited from driving during his sentence under the terms of his parole, chose not to provide written comments to the board, which noted in the report he himself suggested that he return to a community residential facility.

Fenton was granted limited day parole from prison in January 2019 to attend a residential substance abuse treatment program, and full day parole in August of that year, when he was transferred to a community facility.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: don.descoteau@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Law and justiceWest Shore