Oak Bay father Andrew Berry on trial for second-degree murder in the deaths of daughters Aubrey Berry, 4 and Chloe Berry, 6. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don)

Sentence hearing begins for B.C. dad convicted of killing two young daughters

Girls’ mother to read victim impact statement on Tuesday

A father found guilty of killing his daughters on Christmas Day two years ago still says he didn’t commit the crimes, a B.C. Supreme Court judge was told Monday.

Andrew Berry was convicted in September by a jury on two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry.

“Mr. Berry maintains he did not kill the children,” defence counsel Kevin McCullough said during a sentencing hearing that is expected to last four days.

Berry was seated in the prisoner’s box for the start of the hearing, wearing red, prison-issue athletic clothing and shackles around his ankles.

The trial heard each girl had been stabbed dozens of times and left on their beds in Berry’s Oak Bay apartment, while he was found unconscious in the bathtub, suffering stab wounds to his neck and throat.

Berry testified that he was attacked because he owed money to a loan shark, but the Crown argued the motive for the murders was Berry’s anger towards his estranged partner, who he believed planned to seek an end to their joint custody of the girls.

A victim impact statement from their mother, Sarah Cotton, is expected to be read Tuesday as part of the sentencing proceedings.

Crown counsel Clare Jennings said the jury rejected Berry’s testimony and believed it “was in fact fabricated.”

She said his testimony that an unknown man attacked him in his Oak Bay apartment and then murdered the girls, who were asleep in their beds, was a fabrication.

“The Crown says Mr. Berry’s testimony was self-serving, unbelievable,” said Jennings.

She said police found a suicide note in Berry’s apartment and he asked four first responders at the scene to “kill me.”

Jennings said Berry killed his daughters because he wanted to hurt his former partner and his own parents for his difficulties.

“His actions were about blaming those people,” she said.

READ MORE: Andrew Berry tells murder trial he didn’t lie about loan shark

Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, but parole eligibility can be set at a range of between 10 to 25 years.

A judge can also decide if sentences for multiple counts of murder should be served consecutively or concurrently.

Following his conviction in September, six of 12 jurors recommended Berry serve 15 years, consecutively, on each murder count; two jurors called for a 10-year sentence to be served concurrently; and, four jurors made no recommendation.

The Canadian Press

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

20th anniversary of Shuswap’s Salty Dog Enduro postponed to 2021

Organizers follow direction from provincial/national bodies to cancel May event

West Kelowna man charged in relation to cannabis grow robbery in Sicamous

Two suspects remain at large; police believe they left the robbery scene in a white hatchback

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Warm temperatures bring welcome news for Salmon Arm residents who use public washrooms

City plans to open remaining washrooms, playgrounds to remain closed

Provincial COVID-19 rules lead to closure of two Columbia Shuswap Regional District rec sites

CSRD parks not managed with Rec Sites and Trails BC remain open

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Central Okanagan School District provides nearly 7,000 meals to students

Families collect the entire week’s supply of breakfasts and lunches at once to minimize contact

Kelowna cannabis company moves to hand sanitizer production

The Valens Company plans to distribute 40,000 sanitizer bottles to frontline workers across Canada

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

Most Read