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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eli, left, Brent, Lindsay and Ava Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)
West Shore families share experience in raising a child with autism

Two families reveal some parallels, but circumstances are different for everyone

Hamels Fabrics & Quilting is set to open on April 6 in Sooke. The shop is located at 2044 Otter Point Road. (Mark Martins/Pixabay)
Fabric and quilting store opens doors in Sooke

Shop is filled with all kinds of ‘bright, bold and cheery’ designs

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

New hours went into effect at Saanich Parks and Public Works Yard for spring and summer seasons on April 6. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Spring, summer hours in effect at Saanich Public Works Yard

Residents reminded to practise social distancing, prepare to unload without staff help

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 investment into movie studio study at Camosun College

South Island NDP candidates promised funding to develop business plan during 2020 election

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Most Read