Sisters four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were murdered by their father Andrew Berry in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day. (Submitted photo)

Sisters four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were murdered by their father Andrew Berry in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day. (Submitted photo)

B.C. father’s parole eligibility must reflect ‘extremely vicious’ nature of daughters’ murders: Crown

Andrew Berry faces life sentence, justice to return Thursday with verdict on parole eligibilty

Warning: This story contains disturbing content about a double murder

Nearly two years after four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were found murdered in their father’s Oak Bay apartment, family, friends, first responders and community members had the chance to address the man who killed them.

In September, Andrew Berry, 45, was convicted in the violent stabbing deaths of his young daughters, discovered in their beds on Christmas night, 2017.

RELATED: Story told by Oak Bay dad who killed daughters ‘defies logic,’ says judge at start of sentencing

One after another, victim impact statements were delivered to the court room, which included a solemn and stoic Andrew Berry in the prisoner’s box.

Berry faces an automatic life sentence. In the afternoon, lawyers took turns addressing Justice Miriam Gropper with suggested parole eligibility.

Defense attorney, Kevin McCullough made only a brief address to the judge, asking for 15 to 20 years, with no mention of consecutive or concurrent sentencing.

“Mr. Berry says he did not kill the children,” he said.

Crown lawyer Patrick Weir asked for a sentence of 21 to 24 years for each count, served concurrently, meaning Berry would serve both counts at the same time.

Weir said Berry’s sentence must be “proportionate to the gravity of the offense” and called the Oak Bay father’s actions “selfish to a degree that denies comprehension.”

RELATED: Mother of murdered Oak Bay girls gives tearful victim impact statement

He asked the judge to consider a series of aggravating factors when handing down her sentence.

One factor, he said, is the fact that Berry deliberately ended the lives of two victims, and another is that those two victims were his own children, what he called, in a reference to case law, the “worst possible breach of trust.”

“Neither of these children could have fought back or defended themselves against these horrific acts,” Weir said. “They were absolutely defenceless. Neither showed any clear evidence of defence wounds.

“These children should have been protected by their father, not murdered by him.”

Weir also pointed to the “extremely vicious” nature of the attack. Berry used both a knife and bat in his attack of Chloe, and a knife in his attack of Aubrey.

The girls were found with dozens of stab wounds on the front and backs of their bodies and Chloe had been struck with such force she had a fractured skull in several places and significant bleeding and swelling in her brain.

RELATED: Oak Bay father Andrew Berry guilty in daughters’ murders

“There can be no possible explanation for the amount of overkill used by Mr. Berry,” Weir said. “Both of these attacks… would have taken some time to carry out. And at least one of the attacks… was not spontaneous but rather, occurred after Mr. Berry had seen the effect of his stabbing on the first daughter he murdered.”

Weir said the consequences and profound devastation the murders have had on the girls’ family, friends and community must be a consideration in sentencing.

“That two little children were stabbed to death on both their fronts and their backs, both before and after their hearts stopped beating, while in their own beds, in their own home on Christmas morning is unquestionably horrific,” he said.

After delivering the guilty verdict on Sept. 26, the jury made recommendations to Gropper on parole eligibility, with six jurors recommending 15 years for each count served consecutively (one after another), two suggesting 10 years for each count served concurrently and four withholding recommendations.

Gropper is expected to deliver her decision in the Victoria Courthouse on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.

RELATED: Oak Bay double murder trial: Five months of evidence, testimony summarized



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian poet Wali Shah, former NHL’er Corey Hirsch, author, activist and empowerment coach Ashley Bendiksen, and successful Salmon Arm entrepreneur Missy MacKintosh are among the guest speakers participating in the Shuswap Youth Launch event on Thursday, Feb. 25. (Shuswap Youth Launch image)
Shuswap youth excited to launch inspiring virtual event

Corey Hirsch, Wali Shah, Missy MacKintosh among guest speakers

A logging truck spilled its load on Squilax-Anglemont Road after failing to negotiate a shard corner on Jan. 19. (Google Maps image)
Logging truck loses load, blocks traffic in North Shuswap

Jan. 19 incident on Squilax-Anglemont Road obstructed traffic for several hours

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Home Owner Grant applications will no longer be done through the City of Salmon Arm's property tax notices. (File photo)
City of Salmon Arm no longer handling Home Owner Grant applications

B.C. government to open to new online system for grant applications

The Greater Vernon Ringette Association is one of six Vernon sports groups benefitting from B.C.’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (Morning Star file photo)
Relief funds keep Okanagan in the game

Clubs at risk of closure due to inability to offer programs and fundraise

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Homeless man lying on the bench. (File photo)
Temporary emergency shelter opens in Central Okanagan

The shelter, located at the former location of Tree Brewing, will offer 38 beds

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said the city won’t look at changing its policy regarding automatic cost of living pay bumps for himself and city councillors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (File)
Kelowna won’t look at nixing automatic pay raises for council, mayor

Mayor Colin Basran said the raise is minuscule, won’t look at changing policy amid residents’ COVID struggles

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Kevin Lee Barrett is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. (Facebook)
Court hears of victim’s injuries in West Kelowna attempted murder trial

Two-week-long trial continues for Kevin Barrett, accused of trying to kill mother in West Kelowna

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)
Overdose and suicide support group starts in Penticton

Penticton was one of the province’s communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis in 2020

The steel mills in the Hamilton waterfront harbour are shown in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Dyer: Stay the course on Carbon pricing

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Most Read