Kenneth Fenton, the man who killed RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in a car accident in April, 2016, could see an additional 12 to 18 months added to his four-year prison sentence for that death in a separate car accident more than a month later.
Fenton pleaded guilty last month to impaired driving resulting in bodily harm and failing to stop for police in an incident that occurred on May 22, 2016, that sent a female passenger to hospital with serious injuries.
After a short police chase, a truck was found in a ditch on that day northwest of Victoria.
The truck’s passenger claims Fenton was speeding from the police and driving under the influence when he veered the vehicle, which belonged to the passenger, into a ditch at high speeds.
In a Duncan courtroom on July 3, Crown prosecutor Steven Richards asked that Fenton serve 18 months in addition to his four-year sentence for Beckett’s death, which he is currently serving, while defence lawyer Dale Marshall asked for an additional 12 months.
Provincial court judge Lisa Mrojinski decided that the date for Fenton’s sentencing will be announced on July 10.
Fenton sat in court wearing red prison clothes during the hearing listening to both lawyers’ arguments.
Richards gave Fenton credit for accepting responsibility and pleading guilty to the charges, thus avoiding a trial.
But he said Fenton was well above the legal limit for alcohol, failed to stop for police, and sped at excessively high speeds, putting himself and others in jeopardy.
“As well, this accident happened just six weeks after the incident in which Officer Beckett was killed,” Richards said.
“He bears a high degree of moral culpability so a sentence of less than 18 months would be insufficient.”
Marshall said Fenton spent five days in the hospital after the accident with a serious head injury and has no recollection of the crash.
He said Fenton pleaded guilty to the charges because he could not deny the allegations although he could not remember the incident.
Marshall said one of the young people Fenton and the woman in the truck were talking to just before the crash said that the woman drove away, and the police couldn’t identify who was driving the truck during the pursuit.
“The woman admits she was drinking that day as well, so her credibility comes into question,” Marshall said.
“These factors should be taken into consideration here.”
The case is now in the hands of Mrojinski.
Fenton pleaded guilty in May, 2017, to two criminal counts in the death of 32-year-old Beckett.
Beckett died when the marked police car she was driving was struck by a pickup truck driven by Fenton in the Victoria suburb of Langford.
Fenton’s sentencing hearing in Duncan was continued. A date to conclude proceedings will be set next Tuesday.