Kenneth Jacob Fenton, centre and flanked by lawyers Dale Marshall (left) and Chris Massey, gets into a waiting vehicle following his guilty plea on two counts relating to the death of Const. Sarah Beckett of the West Shore RCMP. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Langford man pleads guilty in death of West Shore RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton pleads guilty to two counts in the death of Const. Sarah Beckett in April 2016.

After months of delays, Kenneth Jacob Fenton has plead guilty on two charges stemming from the collision that killed West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in April of last year.

With members of Beckett’s family and some members of the West Shore RCMP detachment in attendance, Fenton plead guilty to counts of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death Thursday morning in Western Communities Court in Colwood.

After proceedings, Fenton’s lawyer, Dale Marshall, said he expects the other three charges, including failing to stop while being pursued by a peace officer, impaired care and control causing death and knowing or ought to have known that his care and control of a vehicle caused an accident resulting in death, to be dropped.

“The Crown has control over those charges and the Crown will deal with them after sentencing. I expect that that will be the end of the matter,” Marshall said.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel with the B.C. prosecution service, also told reporters it’s likely the other charges will be dropped.

The guilty plea comes after months of delays in the case while the two sides continued negotiations.

“Today’s development is the result of resolution discussions which have been ongoing since an early stage in these proceedings,” McLaughlin said.

Beckett’s family members didn’t issue a statement and requested privacy.

“We have kept them apprised of all the developments during the course of these negotiations,” McLaughlin said.

A date for sentencing will be decided on June 6 in the Victoria courthouse downtown. Impaired driving causing death comes with a maximum charge of life in prison.

“It’s important to realize, however, that sentencing decisions are based entirely upon the circumstances of the individual case, the relevant case law and the personal circumstances of the accused person,” McLaughlin said. “A guilty plea is a factor to be considered when the court is assessing the appropriate sentence, to be sure.”

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, whose son was killed in a July 2003 crash in View Royal involving an impaired driver, was also in attendance in support of the Beckett family.

“I’ve been through stuff like this before and it takes a community effort to see them through this,” she said.

“Every day is one day forward and you find ways to find strength and carry on.”

Beckett died in the early hours of April 5 at the intersection of Peatt Road and Goldstream Avenue in Langford, after her police cruiser was struck by a pickup truck.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

B.C. man convicted in fatal boat crash awaiting appeal date

Leon Reinbrecht maintains rights breached by delays

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Food truck options to expand in Salmon Arm

City council votes in new food truck regulations

New commercial development coming to council

Liquor outlet and 60-seat restaurant among uses proposed by applicant

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

KIJHL prospects shine in showcase game

Top players for Kootenay and Okanagan conferences put best skate forward.

Challenge issued to ‘Read for 15’

Regional district libraries to compete by asking patrons to read for 15 minutes on Jan. 26 and 27.

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read