Impaired driver who killed West Shore Mountie described as hard worker and excellent father


Kenneth Jacob Fenton enters the Western Communities Courthouse on July 7.

WATCH: It was another emotional day in a Colwood courtroom as the sentencing hearing for 29-year-old Kenneth Jacob Fenton continued. April Lawrence has more.

Letters of support for the speeding drunk driver who rammed into Cst. Sarah Beckett’s police cruiser and killed her described the 29-year-old man as a hard worker and an excellent father to his three-year-old son.

In a letter submitted Friday at a B.C. Supreme Court sentencing hearing, Ken Fenton, the father of Kenneth Fenton (also known as Jacob), said he was a “loving father, son and brother.” 

Ken Fenton said the family’s grief cannot compare with the pain and suffering the Beckett’s have endured. 

Kenneth Fenton’s mother, Marilyn Fenton, said in a letter that the death of Beckett, who was the mother of two young boys, Lucas and Emmett, was heartbreaking.

?We send our deepest condolences and prayers daily,? she said.

Fenton also addressed the court at the sentencing hearing, saying he apologized to everyone hurt by the tragedy. 

“I would trade places with Sarah if I could,” Fenton said tearfully while reading his statement.  He also said he is no longer drinking. Dale Marshall, Fenton’s lawyer, said Fenton hasn’t been drinking since September 2016 but “self-medicated” in the period following the crash.

Fenton said the accident was on his mind every day. 

“I think about how Sarah’s family must feel and I am heartbroken for the pain that I have caused Sarah’s family.”

He also said he is no longer drinking. Dale Marshall, Fenton’s lawyer, said Fenton hasn’t been drinking since September 2016 but “self-medicated” in the period following the crash.

“I never wanted to hurt anyone or leave children and a loving husband without a wife and a mother,” Fenton read from his statement.

“That was not my intention, but that’s what happened because of my actions.”

It was early in the morning April 5, 2016, when Fenton, drunk and speeding, ran a red light, and rammed into Beckett’s police cruiser, killing her.

Another officer had spotted Fenton’s truck with no tail lights moments earlier and was following him with his lights activated. Fenton said he was distracted by the lights when he ran the red.

A blood test at the hospital showed Fenton’s blood alcohol level was three-and-a-half times the legal limit.

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

Last month, court heard victim impact statements from Beckett’s family, including her husband, Brad Aschenbrenner, who spoke about the impact the tragedy has had on their two sons. 

While expressing remorse for Beckett’s family, many of the letters read Friday point to the struggle Fenton and his family have been going through, facing stigma and backlash from the community, as well as depression.

“There’s been some minor, but some vandalism on their personal property, on some vehicles, their business, comments made to them in the street, and general unpleasantness. It’s led to a very difficult time for all of them and as you heard, Mr. Fenton’s mother is finding it very difficult to leave the home,” Marshall said. 

Friends and family described him as a good young man from a good home who committed a terrible mistake. They say he was mourning the death of a friend who had recently committed suicide the night of the crash.

While these letters were being read Beckett’s husband got up and left the courtroom. Aschenbrenner also left when Fenton addressed the court. Fenton said he fully accepts responsibility and his punishment. 


Fenton pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. The defence is asking for 3 to 5 years in prison for Fenton, plus a five-year driving probation. The Crown is asking for three to five years in prison with a 10-year driving probation. The judge will deliver his decision on July 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Western Communities Courthouse in Colwood. 

Fenton will make his first appearance in a different matter on July 25 in Duncan court. He is facing three charges including causing an accident resulting in bodily harm, impaired driving causing bodily harm and flight causing bodily harm in connection with a single-vehicle crash that left Fenton’s passenger injured on May 22, 2016. That crash was roughly six weeks after the one that killed Beckett and happened in Goldstream Heights. 

With files from April Lawrence and The Canadian Press

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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