The Crown presents its opening statement at the Vancouver Law Courts Tuesday, providing a general road map for the jury of how the trial is expected to unfold. (Family handout)

Gruesome details emerge as trial begins for B.C. man charged in daughters’ Christmas deaths

Crown presents opening statement, calls first witness

*Warning: The following contains graphic content that readers may find disturbing

The jury hearing the case of the Oak Bay father charged in the double murder of his two little girls on Christmas Day, were faced with gruesome details on day one of the trial.

The Crown presented its opening statement at the Vancouver Law Courts Tuesday, providing a general road map for the jury of how the trial is expected to unfold. Crown explained what witnesses it will call to try to prove that Andrew Berry brutally murdered his two daughters, four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry, who were found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day in 2017.

Crown prosecutor Clare Jennings described what the jury is expected to hear from expert witnesses in regards to the state of the girls and what led to their deaths. Crown said it expects the jury will be told by a forensic pathologist that Chloe had a fractured skull and that she was stabbed multiple times – some before, some after death – and Aubrey was stabbed multiple times, dying of her wounds.

RELATED: Trial begins for Oak Bay father charged in Christmas Day deaths of two daughters

In its opening statement, Crown also said it will present evidence of the financial situation of Andrew Berry in the lead up to December 2017 – being regularly behind in rent, having his power cut off by BC Hydro, his visa and line of credit being maxed out and his accounts being overdrawn.

Crown said that evidence gathered by sweeping Berry’s devices show he searched online, in November 2017, for methods for committing suicide.

As Crown presented its opening, the 14-member jury – nine men and five women – could be seen looking over at Andrew Berry, who appeared emotionless in a navy suit.

Crown’s first witness, Oak Bay Const. Piotr Ulanowski, who was first on the scene, took to the stand and choked up when he told the jury what he found when he went to the apartment – blood on the floors and the walls of much of the apartment, the bodies of the two little girls and Berry with significant injuries.

RELATED: Jury selection has begun for trial of Oak Bay father charged with murder of young daughters

Ulanowski testified that he found Andrew Berry lying naked in a bathtub with a black eye and stab wounds in the upper left chest area and throat.

Crown told the jury that it expects first responders will testify they heard Berry say “kill me” and “leave me alone.”

The girls were found on beds in two different rooms, already cold and stiff when first responders arrived.

Previous colleagues of Berry from BC Ferries, where he worked until he resigned in May 2017, are expected to testify that Berry regularly complained about the girls’ mother Sarah Cotton as well as his parents. The complaints are also laid out in a letter addressed to Berry’s sister, found at the scene, that Crown said will be presented during the trial.

Andrew Berry has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

The defence has not yet had an opportunity to make arguments.

The trial is expected to last three or four months.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

RCMP investigating suspicious fire at Nanaimo apartment building

Early morning fire ignited under balcony at building on Glen Eagle Crescent

House fire displaces family of five in Nanaimo

Dog and cat still unaccounted for following house fire on East Wellington Road on Monday

POLL: How often do you see motorists throw cigarette butts out the window?

How often do you see motorists throw lit cigarette butts out the… Continue reading

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bike and hike elsewhere

Letter writer disappointed in Nanaimo council for even considering discussing military range access

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read