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

Kelowna council settles on 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2018

“Safety” budget heavy on a wide-range of public safety related spending

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna RCMP seeks to reunite stolen items to owners

Numerous personal belongings were found during a seizure

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter, household net worth

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parallel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Most Read