ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The woman who beat and drowned Victoria teenager Reena Virk is back on day parole again after struggling to conform within the correctional system.
Kelly Ellard, now 39 years old and the mother of two children, has returned to day parole after the privilege was revoked in August for what a Parole Board of Canada decision says were indications of drug and alcohol use.
Ellard, who now goes by the name Kerry Sim, was 15 when she and a co-accused beat and drowned the 14-year-old girl in Victoria's Gorge waterway and she was later convicted of second-degree murder.
Sim had been on day parole since 2017, spending up to five days a week at her own Metro Vancouver home so she could care for her two boys.
A ruling from the parole board says she was "positive and compliant" when it approved continued parole in January, but it revoked permission after indications of substance use and reports of escalating violence involving the father of her children.
The latest parole review says Sim faced mounting stress maintaining her household and caring for the youngsters over the last year after her partner lost his job and financial and interpersonal pressures increased.
The board restored parole saying Sim has addressed concerns related to her suspension but it ordered her to undergo psychiatric treatment and have no contact with her partner without the knowledge of her case management team, in addition to conditions to stay away from alcohol and drugs.
The board's ruling released Thursday to the media says parole was revoked to protect the public after Sim's management team noted her deteriorating behaviour over several months.
"You engaged in poor problem solving, poor decision making and engaged a high degree of impression management with your (team) that was detrimental to your release and overall risk management," the board says in its Oct. 28 decision.
In reversing the parole cancellation, the board says it accepts the advice of Sim's management team, which now rates her risk as manageable.
"Despite your behaviour becoming manipulative and bordering on sabotaging your own self, you have shown resiliency and determination to succeed in the community," the decision says.
Sim's expanded parole provisions, which had allowed her to live with her children for all but two days each week, have been removed until further notice, but the board says regular day parole rules will apply so she can "build healthy family relationships and positive community supports."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2021.
The Canadian Press