Convicted killer Kelly Ellard turns down chance at full parole: ‘I am not ready’

Convicted killer Kelly Ellard turns down chance at full parole: ‘I am not ready’
The Canadian Press
Kelly Sim, formerly known as Kelly Ellard (shown here in 2000), waived her right to a full parole hearing according to a March 2022 Parole Board of Canada hearing.

The woman convicted of second-degree murder in the 1997 beating and drowning death of Victoria teen Reena Virk has waived her right to a full parole hearing, a decision the Parole Board of Canada agrees with.

Kelly Ellard, now going by the name Kelly Sim, was denied full parole by the Parole Board of Canada after she herself told the board “situationally, I am not ready,” according to the decision.

Sim had been on day parole since 2017, spending up to five days a week at her own Metro Vancouver home so she could care for her two boys.

The parole decision said Sim made “notable” progress in her rehabilitation after being granted day parole, earning her expanded leave privileges of five nights at home and two nights at a community residential facility.

“However, over the last two years, there were changes in your personal life and the stress of motherhood and maintaining a household began impacting you,” the decision read. “Your intimate partner lost his job and you were experiencing financial problems.”

Now 39 years old and the mother of two children, Sim’s day parole privileges were briefly suspended in August 2021 over indications of drug and alcohol use and mutual spousal violence, but they were reinstated in October.

The latest report says she is focused on her children and communicating with her partner on the telephone only as per her conditions.

“There is no information to suggest you are using illegal drugs or alcohol. You are not currently employed but would like to obtain employment,” it says.

The board noted that Sim is engaged in her correctional plan and working collaboratively with her case management team, supporting her reintegration as she continues day parole.

However, the board said it “remains cognizant that you have demonstrated a willingness to engage in extreme violence and have a history of aggressive and assaultive behaviour. This history of violence must also be considered within the context of your assessed moderate to high-moderate risk to re-offend.”

That, coupled with Sim’s “relatively recent instability” prior to her day parole suspension in 2021, shows that Sim requires the ongoing support of her community residential facility, something she would not have under full parole, the board said.

“To your credit, you readily acknowledge you are not ready for a more expanded form of release at this time. As a result, the Board concludes your risk on full parole is undue and full parole is denied,” it ruled.

Ellard was 15 when she and a co-accused beat and drowned 14-year-old Virk in Victoria’s Gorge waterway and she was later convicted of second-degree murder.

Though she was 15, Ellard was sentenced as an adult. She was convicted at her third trial in 2005 after a B.C. Court of Appeal decision set aside the guilty verdict in her first trial and her second trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

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