24 years after Reena Virk's murder, parole board continues Kelly Ellard's release

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ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The 38-year-old woman convicted of murdering teenager Reena Virk near Victoria in 1997 will be allowed to continue her day parole.

The Parole Board of Canada has released its ruling on Kelly Ellard, who now goes by the name of Kerry Sim.

In a decision released Thursday, the board says Sim, now the mother of two young children, remains "positive and compliant" in the community and continues to have high reintegration potential.

Her day parole was expanded last summer to allow her to live away from a residential facility for up to five days each week and the parole board is continuing that order for another six months.

It says Sim's case management team reports she has demonstrated remorse for Virk's murder, takes full responsibility for the attack and believes the best way to show her remorse is to "live a pro-social life in honour of the victim and her family."

Sim was 15 when she and a group of teens beat Virk and then she and an accomplice followed the injured girl, beat her again and drowned her in the Gorge waterway.

She was tried as an adult and had three second-degree murder trials before 2009 when the matter was addressed by the Supreme Court of Canada and her life sentence for Virk's murder was upheld.

The parole board is maintaining five conditions linked to Sim's release, including an order against the use of alcohol or drugs and a requirement that she have no contact with Virk's family.

In its six-page report, the board says that since 2017, Sim has demonstrated consistent progress and desire to change her life.

"The fact that the birth of your children has given you a purpose in life is tragically ironic as you ended the life of another mother's child, but your children and the support of your common-law spouse and other family members are strong protective factors," the board decision says.

Continuing day parole will "contribute to the protection of society" by helping Sim reintegrate as a law-abiding citizen, says the ruling.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press