Kenneth Jacob Fenton, centre, gets into a waiting vehicle after pleading guilty to two charges relating to the death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett. The Langford man was sentenced in July 2017. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

The man convicted of driving drunk and killing an RCMP officer three years ago near Victoria will be getting limited day parole to attend alcohol abuse treatment.

Kenneth Jacob Fenton was handed a five-and-a-half year prison sentence in July 2017 and his first parole hearing was held Monday, Jan. 21 at a medium-security prison in Abbotsford, B.C.

RELATED: Fenton gets four years for crash that killed cop

Fenton told a parole board panel that driving drunk was the “most devastating decision” he has ever made and he understands it’s unfair that he’s still here while an “innocent mother” can’t go home to her children.

Parole Board of Canada member Catherine Dawson told Fenton that he still struggles with being honest and she’s concerned that it took him so long to realize that he’s an alcoholic.

She and another board member decided to allow Fenton to go to a treatment centre in the Fraser Valley to complete a program lasting about 70 days, before he returns to prison and the board decides next his steps.

RELATED: Man who killed Mountie pleads guilty in second crash

RELATED: Man serving time for Mountie’s death sentenced to additional 18 months

Beckett, a 32-year-old mother of two boys, had recently returned from maternity leave when she was killed in the Greater Victoria suburb of Langford in April 2016.

Fenton’s trial heard that his truck was travelling at up to 90 kilometres an hour when it rammed Beckett’s RCMP cruiser at an intersection. He ended up pleading guilty to charges relating to driving with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 and causing an accident resulting in bodily harm, as well as failing to stop for police. He was also given a driving prohibition of up to five years to follow after his release.

The court heard that he was speeding away from another police cruiser that had just turned on its lights to pull him over seconds before the crash.

Just over a month after crashing into Const. Beckett’s patrol car, Fenton was involved in another crash that also caused serious injuries, this time to a female passenger.

RELATED: Husband of late Westshore RCMP Cont. Sarah Beckett calls for harsher DUI consequences

RELATED: Const. Sarah Beckett’s family honoured on Remembrance Day

– With files from the Canadian Press

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Investigators examine the scene of the crash involving a police car and a pickup truck in Langford, B.C., Tuesday, April 5, 2016. RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett was killed in the crash. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

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