The woman convicted of the murder of Victoria teen Reena Virk has been granted an extension of her day parole.
Kelly Ellard was among a group of mainly girls who swarmed the 14-year-old Virk under the Craigflower Bridge on Nov. 14, 1997. Ellard and Warren Glowatski followed her along the shoreline where they continued the beating and held Reena’s head under the water until she drowned. The 14-year-old Saanich girl’s body was discovered eight days later farther up the Gorge Waterway.
Ellard, who is now 35 and goes by the name of Kerry Marie Sim, was granted a further six months of day parole back in late July. She was originally granted day parole in November 2017 with the conditions not to consume drugs or alcohol, participate in treatment program, avoid certain persons, follow psychological counselling and avoid victims.
“Since your release, your Case Management Team (CMT) indicates that you have been open and transparent with them. You have been managing your daily stressors well and successfully completed residential treatment,” according to the parole board. “There is no indication that you have breached any of your conditions and you appear motivated to work with your partner’s CMT to facilitate the care of your child. You are participating in a self management program in the community.”
Ellard, who is living in a halfway house, became pregnant during a 2016 conjugal visit with her boyfriend, who is also on parole.
The parole board decision said Ellard is very focused on her young child’s life and meeting her parental obligations.
“It would appear that having a child has helped you focus on the important things in life and as a result your motivation to lead a crime-free existence remains high.”
Correctional Services of Canada recommended Ellard’s day parole be continued, stating the five conditions allows her risk to be manageable in the community.
Reena’s mother Suman Virk, who died earlier this year, opposed Ellard’s day parole when it was granted last November.
“I don’t think that [Kelly Ellard] has taken full responsibility in Reena’s death, and I think she’s been minimizing her role,” Suman Virk said in an interview at the time.
The parole board decision pointed out the impact Reena’s death had on friends and family who provided victim impact statements.
“While dated, they speak to the sense of loss and guilt for the inability to protect a child,” said the decision from parole board members K. Corcoran and I. Mackenzie.
“Their lives were transformed due to your decisions and actions and they must live with the reality of what you and others chose to do. The loss of their daughter has caused untold grief and their struggle to move forward is difficult.”