Family of B.C. teen murdered by classmates still fighting for ‘Kimberly’s Law’
Nine years after a Greater Victoria teen was slain in a dark murder plot executed by her peers, Kimberly Proctor’s family is renewing their push for legislation that they believe could save others from experiencing similar tragedy.
“There would be a possibility that Kimmy would be alive today if a Safe Care Act was in place,” Proctor’s aunt Jo-Anne Landolt told Global News.
The Safe Care Act, also known as Kimberly’s Law, would force at-risk kids with a history of violence, mental illness and/or addiction into treatment before they harm themselves or anyone else.
Kimberly Proctor, who was 18 at the time, was raped, tortured and murdered on March 18, 2010 by her classmates, 16-year-old Kruse Wellwood and 17-year-old Cameron Moffat.
“Kruse Wellwood and Cameron Moffat both spiraled out of control while their community, their school, their peers watched,” said Landolt.
The pair pleaded guilty to first degree murder in October 2010 — admitting to meticulously planning Proctor’s killing. On Apr. 4, 2011, both were sentenced as adults to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.
“It goes without saying first-degree murder with intent to kill is the most serious of offences,” said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston when delivering his sentence.
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“The circumstances of this murder as admitted by the young persons are so horrific that no words can adequately convey the inhumane cruelty these young men showed Ms. Proctor.”
Evidence heard in court revealed both Wellwood and Moffat were ticking time bombs who exhibited violent behaviour at home and in school before they evolved into killers.
Wellwood once hit a fellow student with a chain, splitting open the child’s head. On a separate occasion, he broke another student’s nose. In 2009, Wellwood held a knife to his mother’s throat.
Court heard Moffat once kicked the family dog, breaking its paw. In Kindergarten, he would hit and push children. Moffat was later suspended twice from middle school and expelled from his alternative secondary school for bringing a box cutter to class.
“Nothing was done, and we are forever asked, why was nothing done about these two boys?” said Landolt.
Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite believes that mandatory treatment is sometimes the only option that will work, and on March 27 she introduced the Safe Care Act for a third time.
“This act will save youths’ lives,” said the MLA who represents North Vancouver-Seymour.
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A Safe Care Act was first drafted in 1998 and passed third reading before an election saw it shelved for two decades. A second attempt by Thornthwaite to have the proposed law enacted in February 2018 failed to generate enough support.
B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions told Global News the NDP government is considering the impacts of forcing youth into treatment as it looks at policies and legislation to keep children safe.
“The issue of safe care is a complicated issue,” said Judy Darcy.
“It’s one that requires balancing a lot of rights, including charter rights.”
Landolt, who along with Proctor’s parents and grandparents has been fighting for changes to the province’s youth mental health system since Kimberly’s murder, is hoping the NDP will bring the Safe Care Act legislation to debate in the legislature.
“Even after nine years, it is very very raw for our family, and I believe it will always be raw,” said Landolt.