Andrew Berry continues his testimony in Vancouver Law Courts Thursday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don)

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

*Warning: This story contains disturbing content about suicide and violence.

The Victoria father charged with the double murder of his two young daughters took the stand for the second time on Thursday, giving his account of the events that occurred in his Oak Bay apartment on Dec. 25, 2017.

Andrew Berry, 45, is accused of murdering six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey – both found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day, 2017. He is the defense team’s first witness following months of Crown evidence and witnesses in the Vancouver Law Courts.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Under questions from defense lawyer Kevin McCullough, Berry described a snowy Christmas Eve with his daughters. He said on Dec. 24 they played in the snow with floaties and he kept them up until midnight, hoping that would keep them from waking up the next morning while it was still dark out – unable to pay his bills, Berry’s hydro had been turned off.

He testified that the next morning they received their Christmas gifts – unwrapped pencil crayons, pencil cases and little back packs – and had bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Berry said they then went out to play in the snow again, taking the floaties to a golf course hill nearby. He claims they returned briefly at noon before heading straight out for more play time. He claims they had returned for lunch but that the girls weren’t hungry and didn’t eat anything before leaving again.

Berry said they returned again to the apartment roughly around 3:30 p.m.

“On the trip back home, how were the girls?” McCullough asked.

“They were good. Happy. They didn’t want to go back.” Berry’s face constricted, red with emotion.

He described getting back to his apartment, putting the girls’ snow toys in the hallway and taking off their wet clothes. The girls, wearing their pajamas went into the unit.

Berry said he entered his bedroom was tackled onto the bed before his throat was stabbed. He said he experienced “searing pain” through his body and described being confused when he came to.

“I just don’t know what to think,” he said. “I don’t know what’s happening.”

Berry told the courtroom that he then moved toward Chloe’s bedroom, where he fell down and lost consciousness in the doorway.

“When I wake up, I crawl over to Chloe’s bed and prop myself up onto my knees and I reach out and touch Chloe and she’s dead, and there’s blood everywhere,” he said between sobs. “There’s just blood everywhere.”

He said he checked his room for Aubrey and didn’t see her. He testified that he then moved to the kitchen where he grabbed a knife, was thrown to the ground and was stabbed when he tried to get back up.

He described his attacker as a man around his height with dark skin and dark hair. Berry said his attacker was not one of the men he knew to be associated with the loan shark he owed thousands of dollars to.

READ ALSO: Sister of Andrew Berry recalls urging brother to seek help

“The next memory I have is of waking up in the bathtub and the sounds of police over me,” he said, claiming there was a flashlight shining down on him and a gun pointed at his head. Berry said he heard voices saying: “This is the guy who killed his kids, this is the guy who killed his kids.”

Berry told the jury that his next memory was waking up in the hospital with tubes down his throat, handcuffed to the hospital bed, unaware of what day or time it was.

“How were you feeling at that point?” McCullough asked.

“Not good.”

“What about your mental state?”

“Not good. Just not good.”

Berry said the doctor told him he had to stay in the hospital, as mandated by the Mental Health Act.

“A doctor came into the room and explained that I was a risk of harming other people and myself and I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital,” he told the court. “I wanted to die. There was nothing left. The girls were dead and I was chained to a bed. I just wanted to die.”

Asked about the hospital staff, Berry said he felt that everyone was sure of his guilt.

“Everybody thought I killed the girls. Everybody,” he said. “There wasn’t a soul who didn’t.”

Berry’s testimony continues Friday morning.

Read more on this story



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

andrew berryOak Bay double homicide

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

Just Posted

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer fuel from vehicles

Oceanside RCMP receive 229 complaints in one-week period

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

COVID-19: Parksville bylaw officers to enforce provincial health orders

Residents will be reminded to social distance and stay off playgrounds

Petition against development of wetlands area in Qualicum Beach garners nearly 2,000 signatures

Preservation society: ’We believe this is a violation of the town’s bylaws’

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Easter Bunny not a COVID-19 carrier, allowed to do drop offs

World Health Organization grants permission to Bunny as he cannot transfer the virus

Mid-Island Panago locations offer free pizza to first responders

First responder can get free pizza at Panago in Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Mill Bay

Nanaimo man, allegedly drunk and high, arrested after climbing 100-foot tree

Man in sandals climbs fir tree, hurls obscenities at police below

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

Most Read