The Parole Board of Canada has extended Kelly Ellard’s day parole for another six months along with extending her leave privileges to allow her to live at home for a maximum of four nights per week.
Ellard, who changed her name to Kerry Sim, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1997 death of 14-year-old Reena Virk and is currently serving a life sentence.
Ellard received day parole in November 2017, which the parole board has extended in six-month increments on several occasions.
The parole board’s decision states that while Ellard’s institutional behaviour was problematic at times, there have been no reports of violence for over a decade. The decision also noted Ellard remained defiant for years following the murder and stated that it took her a long time to accept responsibility for her actions and admit to the level of violence she committed.
Ellard’s leave privileges were also extended so that she “can reside in [her] own home and better provide a normal upbringing [for her] children.” Ellard and her boyfriend rent a home, which she has been able to stay at on weekends under past day parole conditions.
According to Correctional Service Canada (CSC), Ellard intends to apply for full parole in the near future, adding that CSC believes her risk is “manageable in the community” with specific conditions.
The parole board stated they were still concerned with the level of violence she demonstrated in the past and the “brutal manner” in which she took Virk’s life.
“The Board cannot over-look the enduring negative impact that your actions had on the victims or the community,” reads the decision.
Psychological therapy reports state Ellard has benefited from being a parent, despite her partner — who is also an offender and had completed his sentence — being re-incarcerated. Ellard has also had a second child with the same partner while serving her sentence.
Conditions imposed on the release include not consuming, purchasing or possessing any drugs other than prescribed or over-the-counter medication; not consuming, purchasing or possessing any alcohol; following a treatment plan or program arranged by a parole supervisor in the areas of substance abuse, emotions management, reintegration stressors, and personal trauma; avoiding people who are involved or believed to be involved in criminal activity or substance use; and no direct or indirect contact with any member of the deceased victim’s family.
“The harm you caused the deceased victim’s family is immeasurable. They have every right to live their lives without the fear or worry of any unwanted contact from you,” reads the decision.
More than 20 years ago, at the age of 15, Ellard swarmed Virk with several other teens. Ellard, along with a teenage boy, then held Virk underwater near a Greater Victoria bridge until she stopped moving.
Virk’s family has said, when Ellard first received day parole in 2017, that she has never shown enough remorse for her actions.
Ellard was convicted in 2005 after three trials and received a life sentence. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the conviction in 2009. While out on bail, Ellard was also charged with assault causing bodily harm in February 2004. Those charges were later dropped.
Though a teenager at the time of the murder, she was given an adult sentence, due to the nature of the offence. She was eligible to apply for parole in 2013 but didn’t apply until 2016 and was denied at first. In February 2016, Ellard was given permission to take temporary escorted trips to parenting programs and doctor appointments.