Kenneth Jacob Fenton (back) leaves the Western Communities Courthouse after the end of proceedings on Wednesday. Fenton’s blood alcohol level was registered to be 3.5 times over the legal limit less than an hour after his collision with West Shore RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Kenneth Jacob Fenton (back) leaves the Western Communities Courthouse after the end of proceedings on Wednesday. Fenton’s blood alcohol level was registered to be 3.5 times over the legal limit less than an hour after his collision with West Shore RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Sentencing for Langford man adjourned until July 6

Kenneth Jacob Fenton’s blood alcohol level was 3.5 times legal limit less than an hour after crash

Crown counsel asked for three to five years of jail time – with a sentence at the higher end of that range – and a 10 year driving prohibition at the sentencing hearing for Langford resident Kenneth Jacob Fenton, who pleaded guilty last month to two charges stemming from the collision that killed West Shore RCMP officer Const. Sarah Beckett.

The defense asked for three years of jail time and five years driving prohibition.

Court was in session for nearly all of Wednesday at the Western Communities Courthouse in Colwood and proceedings couldn’t be completed by the end of the day. The case has been adjourned to July 6.

Fenton pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. Beckett was killed after Fenton struck her police cruiser at the Goldstream Avenue and Peatt Road intersection in Langford last year.

A recording of the dispatch call from an officer attempting to pull over Fenton prior to the crash was played Wednesday during the hearing, as were surveillance videos that depicted the crash and the aftermath.

It was estimated that Fenton was travelling between 72 and 90 km/h at the time of the crash according to an agreed statement of facts.

He was travelling south on Peatt Road while Beckett was travelling east on Goldstream Avenue, returning to the local detachment after a different investigation. Fenton’s traffic light had been red for eight seconds prior to the collision and a security camera showed that he did not apply his brakes prior to the crash.

The officer trailing Fenton had turned on flashing lights but not sirens five to seven seconds before the crash and was attempting to pull Fenton over because his taillights were off.

Contrary to earlier reports, Fenton was not attempting to flee or intentionally failing to stop, according to the agreed statement.

Blood samples taken at the hospital just under an hour after the collision indicated Fenton’s blood alcohol level was three and a half times the legal limit.

He reportedly told nurses the night of the crash that he would kill himself rather than serve life in prison.

Photos showed the driver’s side of Beckett’s cruiser was crushed by the impact of the collision and the steering wheel was severed. Beckett was not responsive at any point after the collision and had two wounds that were deemed to have been enough to kill her on their own.

Beckett’s widow Brad Aschenbrenner was visibly emotional as he read his victim impact statement for the court. He recalled that on the morning his wife was killed, he awoke in the night and felt like something was wrong.

“I didn’t know what it was, but I was very worried. And then a hesistant knock on the door, the knock of someone not wanting to knock. I saw the police car and the swollen eyes of the officers and I knew,” he recalled.

But the toughest part of his day, Aschenbrenner said, was telling the couple’s oldest son, five at the time of the collision, that his mother wouldn’t be coming home and the look he saw on his son’s face.

“I’ve relived this look every day since,” he said.

While outlining the principles of sentencing, Crown counsel noted there’s simply no excuse for drunk driving and despite harsher sentences and awareness campaigns, many still do not understand the severity of it.

They deemed Fenton’s elevated blood alchohol level, the speed at which he was travelling and a driving record that included nine entries between 2006 and 2013 as aggravating factors to the offence.

In conversations with nurses at the hospital on the morning of the collision, Fenton is reported to have pointed the blame toward Beckett, which the Crown argued was another aggravating factor.

They submitted that his early guilty plea – Fenton is said to have told the Crown of his plan to plead guilty as early as January of this year – his age and his lack of prior criminal convictions as mitigating factors.

Fenton’s lawyer Dale Marshall described his client as “youthful” and said that he hadn’t consumed any alcohol since September of last year.

He also argued against the Crown’s notion that his client’s comments to nurses were aggravating factors, as he says his client was in a state of shock. Fenton has shown remorse for his actions, Marshall said, which will be evident when he eventually speaks in front of the court.

The defence will submit relevant case law when sentencing resumes.

Fenton is also facing charges from a crash that occurred in May 2016 on Goldstream Heights Road, including impaired driving causing bodily harm.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

West Shore RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read