Reena Virk's mother speaks out on Kelly Ellard decision
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, February 27, 2017 8:24PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 27, 2017 8:29PM EST
The mother of murdered B.C. teen Reena Virk doesn’t believe the parole board that granted her daughter’s killer temporary escorted absences from prison would have been swayed by the Virk family’s opposition.
“The powers that be will do what they want to do regardless,” Suman Virk told CTV News Channel Monday.
“There is not much you can say in these circumstances as a victim of crime because all the power lies with the parole board. As a victim, you’re completely helpless.”
Kelly Ellard was granted temporary escorted release from prison Monday to attend medical appointments and parenting programs for the baby she had in prison. Ellard was convicted in 2005 in the 1997 beating and drowning death of 14-year-old Reena and was given a life sentence with no chance of parole for seven years.
Ellard will be allowed up to four escorted absences a month for up to four hours over a three-month period.
She made the same request for temporary absences last month but was rejected. But the parole board says Ellard, who was 15 at the time of her crime, has made strides since then.
“What seems to have happened is that her attitude towards authority and towards abiding by rules has changed considerably. She’s no longer challenging the staff, she’s co-operating, she’s participating actively in her correctional plan,” said Patrick Storey, a regional parole board spokesperson.
Parole board member Alex Dantzer told The Canadian Press that Ellard has not had a violent incident in more than seven years.
Virk says she’s disappointed that Ellard will be allowed to leave prison and that she was allowed to have a child while behind bars.
“It seems like Kelly’s getting everything she wants, you know, starting with getting a conjugal visit with her boyfriend and then now having a child. I don’t understand the rationale of the parole board or the justice system as it is. I believe once you are a convicted killer, you should not have the same privileges as other members of society.”