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Day parole continued for killer of Reena Virk

Kelly Ellard, who now goes by the name Kerry Marie Sim, will get another six months of day parole
Kelly Ellard and her father, Lawrence, leave the Vancouver courthouse in 2000. Adrian Wyld, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Convicted killer Kelly Ellard has had her day parole continued for another six months.

Ellard, who now goes by the name Kerry Marie Sim, was convicted of murdering ­Victoria teenager Reena Virk in ­November 1997. Sim, now 40 and a mother of two, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

In late March, the Parole Board of Canada conducted an in-office review and accepted the recommendation of the Correctional Service of Canada to continue her day parole with special conditions.

A 2016 risk assessment found Sim has a moderate to high-moderate risk of future violence, particularly over the longer term.

In its recent decision, the board noted the risk would likely increase if Sim used substances or associated with people who did.

Sim’s attitude and her personal, emotional and family orientation still require “a high need for improvement,” the board found.

Sim was granted day parole in November 2017. In 2020, she was allowed to live away from a ­residential facility for up to five days each week.

However, she began experiencing challenges in her personal life, including the stress of motherhood and maintaining a household.

Her day parole was suspended in August 2021 when she failed to report intimate partner violence. The parole board cancelled the suspension in October 2021.

The board noted that in the past six months, Sim has complied with her special conditions and is the primary care­giver for her two children. She is open about her relationship with her ex-spouse and her challenges in the community. She is motivated to live a pro-social life and to become more independent in the community, the parole board said.

“You remain connected to the community mental health team and are seeing a psychologist on a regular basis. There has been no indication of drug use and no concern with regard to your community associations,” the board wrote in its decision. “You are not currently employed, but are hoping to secure employment once you are able to navigate childcare options.”

Sim’s case-management team advised the board she has had no negative interactions with police.

Sim’s special conditions include immediately reporting all sexual and non-sexual relationships and friendships, and any changes in these relationships. She must have no contact with her ex-spouse without supervision or written consent from her parole officer and she must follow psychiatric treatment to address anxiety and mental-health issues.

Sim was 15 when she and a group of teens beat Reena Virk before 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 Supreme Court of Canada upheld her life sentence for Virk’s murder.

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