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

Two big housing projects planned for Castlegar

A mix of single family and multi-family units planned

Women Care Castlegar offers funding to local charities

Women Care Castlegar is a group of community-minded philanthropic women

Castlegar residents living with dementia break silence on stigma

More than half a million Canadians are living with dementia today.

Rossland Council updated on cost of fixing arena

It will cost $700,000+ to get job done

UPDATED: Man dies in backcountry near Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Most Read