Almost two decades ago, 14 year-old Indo-Canadian teen Reena Virk was swarmed, horribly beaten and then drowned under Victoria’s old Craigflower Bridge. Kelly, who is now 33 yeares old, led the gang of bullies who brutalized Virk and it was Kelly who smashed her classmate’s head against a tree trunk.
She was also accused of holding Virk’s head under water until she died. Reena was at the time a Grade 9 student and both were about 15 years old.
The murder took place late on a 1997 November evening after Virk, along with a group of teenagers met at a local school to drink and smoke pot. She was then assaulted by many of those present until she fled, bloodied and crying to be left alone. Howeer, Ellard and Glowatski followed her.
A pathologist testified at the trial that Virk’s brain was swollen and she suffered at least 18 forceful blows to her body. She died from drowning.
Kelly was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after three trials. The first trial in 2000 found her guilty, but the verdict was overturned and a new trial ordered. During the second trial in 2004, Ellard averred that she did not cross the bridge at all. At the third trial in 2005, she was convicted, then won an appeal. However, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the appeal of her second-degree murder conviction seven years ago. It has been reported that Kelly waived her right to a full parole hearing four times so far, but has remained eligible for day parole.
Kelly was reportedly in trouble even while on bail, which was revoked after she was charged with assault on an older woman in a New Westminster park. In prison too, she was said to be aggressive and prone to violent outbursts.
The attack led to a natinal focus on bullying in schools, especially among female students.
Reena Virk’s grandfatherMukand Pallan, 86, told CTV in Victoria that the family “no longer believes Ellard can redeem herself. If she had admitted (her role) and if she had told the truth, then it would have been much better for our conscious, our pain, our satisfaction.”
“The way she behaved, we’re very, very mad about it. It doesn’t seem right, she’s not a good girl, she doesn’t deserve any help.” The Virk family does not believe that Ellard will change but feels the the federal parole board will make the correct decision, Pallan said. “It is very painful, but there’s nothing too much we can do about it anymore.”
Reena Virk’s mother Susan Virk was quoted by CTV Vancouver Island as saying that the outside world would be difficult for Ellard. “That murder changed her life and I don’t think you could ever be normal after something like that. She’s going to have to carry that burden for the rest of her life and people will recognize her so I don’t think it will be easy even if she gets out.” – CINEWS