Crown says Fenton was drinking and speeding in crash that killed West Shore RCMP constable

Crown says Fenton was drinking and speeding in crash that killed West Shore RCMP constable

A sentencing hearing is underway for the drunk driver who killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in April last year. The 32-year-old mother of two died when Kenneth Jacob Fenton rammed his pickup truck into her police cruiser at a Langford intersection. April Lawrence reports.

A court has heard that the Langford man who pleaded guilty to several charges in connection to a crash that killed West Shore RCMP Cst. Sarah Beckett last April was drinking before the crash. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Kenneth Jacob Fenton, known as Jake Fenton, pleaded guilty in late May to two counts including impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing in connection with the April 2016 collision that claimed the life of the 11-year veteran of the force.

He appeared this morning Western Communities provincial court for a sentencing hearing. 

Court heard an agreed statement of facts Wednesday that stated Fenton was not attempting to flee from police when his truck struck Beckett’s cruiser. According to Crown attorney Tim Stokes, Fenton was going between 76 to 90 kilometres an hour at the time fo the crash. Paramedics noticed a smell of liquor and slurred speech from Fenton but he denied consuming alcohol. 

According to the statement of facts, Fenton refused to provide a blood alcohol sample at the hospital and said he was suicidal. He also said the crash was Beckett’s fault. Court heard that when Fenton finally gave the blood sample, it was 287 mg or 3.5 times the legal limit. Medical staff noted “a very obvious smell of liquor on his breath, bloodshot eyes and his speech was somewhat slurred.” 

Court also watched a surveillance video that showed Fenton running a red light and t-bone Beckett’s cruiser, which was proceeding on a green light. They also heard Fenton struggled with alcohol and was upset about a friend’s recent death from suicide. While Fenton doesn’t have a criminal record, he does have a lengthy driving record. His lawyer said he is genuinely remorseful. 

The Crown is recommending a sentence of five years in prison for Fenton while the defence is asking for three years.

The maximum sentence for impaired driving causing death is life in prison, while the maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years. A date for the remainder of Fenton’s sentencing will be set next week.

Kenneth Fenton is seen at court on June 28, 2017.

Keith VassKeith Vass

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!