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

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Kitimat registers biggest drop in property assessments

The residential property in the north with the highest value was $2.892 million

Former mayor Ray Brady passes away

“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them.”

CDC’s housing section looking for new home

CDC executive director says it has until Jan. 31 to move out.

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Most Read