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Drunk driver who killed B.C. officer is out again on statutory release

VANCOUVER — A man convicted of drunk and dangerous driving causing the death of an RCMP officer has been freed again on statutory release with a warning to stay away from drugs and alcohol and get counselling.
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Kenneth Fenton, left, arrives for a sentencing hearing at Western Communities Courthouse in Colwood, B.C., on Friday, July 7, 2017, for impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death of RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett on April 5, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VANCOUVER — A man convicted of drunk and dangerous driving causing the death of an RCMP officer has been freed again on statutory release with a warning to stay away from drugs and alcohol and get counselling.

Ken Fenton was convicted of crashing into Const. Sara Beckett's cruiser after running a red light in April 2016 near Victoria and was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

Fenton’s release was suspended in April when he admitted to overmedicating on prescription drugs in response to anxiety of the looming anniversary of the crash.

The decision from the Parole Board of Canada released on Tuesday says a urine test also showed illegal drugs, and his release was suspended.

It says Fenton has spent long periods of time in the community without problems, found full-time work and has the support of a girlfriend and family members.

In reversing the suspension, the board says it’s concerned he can’t follow the rules of his prescription marijuana program and negative feelings have him turning to alcohol but because he’s near the end of the sentence, having access to support is essential so he can reintegrate into society.

Fenton told the board he felt he had come a long way since his conviction.

“You have also written a letter to the board explaining how your addictions to alcohol developed during your adolescence and young adulthood," the decision says.

"You expressed remorse of the harm you have done to the victim and her family and say that being successful on parole and recovering from your addiction issues are your top priorities."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press