Mukand Lal Pallan, (left), father of Manjit Virk (centre), and Amarjit Pallan take comfort as supporters speak at a memorial marking 20 years since the swarming and bullying death of 14-year-old Reena Virk.at the Craigflower Schoolhouse in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Kelly Ellard’s parole delivers blow to her victim’s family

Reena Virk’s mother says Ellard has yet to take full responsibility for her daughter’s death

The mother of Reena Virk questions whether the convicted killer of her daughter has shown enough contrition.

“I don’t think that [Kelly Ellard] has taken full responsibility in Reena’s death, and I think she been minimizing her role,” said Suman Virk in an interview Thursday afternoon. Ultimately, Ellard will have to prove that she is deserving of this chance.

She made those comments after the Parole Board of Canada granted Ellard conditional approval for day parole for six months, pending completion of a residential treatment program for substance abuse. Ellard met with parole board officials Thursday.

Virk said she and her husband Manjit had no input in the decision, which gives Ellard her first real chance at one day being released from prison.

“We have no role in making this decision,” she said.

The couple heard of the decision through media and parole board officials after they had made their decision.

Virk said she and her husband hope the publicity will end soon. “We have gone with our life, since Reena has been killed,” she said.

Thursday’s decision comes one year after officials had denied Ellard’s first request for parole, and just weeks after dozens of Victoria residents came together to pay tribute to Reena Virk, who was killed by Ellard and other classmates on Nov. 14, 1997.

“We know there will be times when these things will happen but let’s look at our own family situations,” Reena’s father Manjit said during the tribute at Kosapsom Park, the place of her death. “What our kids learn in the family stays with them.

“Reena was protected, she was raised with love and kindness [and] she was trusting. When she went to school she had a hard time, people bullied her, people thought she was different [and] she was very puzzled. Why would people pick on her. We always told her, this is part of life, people have different values, they’ll mistreat you, be kind to them, talk to teachers, talk to us.”

The killing of a 14-year-old student at the time shocked and saddened not only those in Victoria, but people around the country.

One of the Saanich Police officers involved in the case was Chris Horsley. He is now a Staff Sgt., but had only been on the job for three years at the time.

“There were murders in Saanich but not one of this magnitude, who happened to be girls,” Horsley said.

“My own daughter, born two days after Reena’s death, went through the school system, and one of her assignments was to read the book about Reena Virk. That was a barometer for me.”

Ellard is now 35 years old with a young child of her own, conceived during a conjugal visit with her boyfriend, who is also behind bars.

She resides at a women’s prison in Abbotsford with her young child and has spent about 15 years behind bars. She was finally convicted of second-degree murder in 2005 after three trials.

Opinion has been mixed with readers; some feeling the crime was so vicious that Ellard should never be released, while others believe she has served her time.

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Where are the corners of your vehicle

We were expected to drive as fast as we were able to in addition to leaving all the cones alone.

Cowichan Coffee Time: Lots of winners honoured, and volunteers step up

• Members of 4-H have been busy lately, with numerous competitions. Cowichan… Continue reading

Robert Barron column: Opioid crisis hits home, literally

I found two fire trucks and two ambulances parked in my driveway and along the adjacent street

Huge demand for spot prawns, limited supply for Cowichan

Most of the more than 200 boats harvesting spot prawns freeze their catch and ship it away.

Andrea Rondeau column: Positives on the environmental front

Does hearten me so many people concerned about future of environment they’re taking it to the polls.

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read