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.

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

Just Posted

Former Chilliwack mayor and MLA speaks at UFV

John Jansen makes presentation at Abbotsford campus on Tuesday, Jan. 21

Doxa Band performs at free worship event in Abbotsford

Program takes place Sunday, Jan. 26 at Central Heights Church

Alzheimer Society holds open house in Abbotsford

Event on Jan. 29 at Garden Park Tower is part of awareness month

Tougher burning rules considered by Abbotsford council

Staff suggest limiting open air burning to just two months

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read