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 on first day of trial for Oak Bay father charged in daughters’ deaths

Crown presents opening statement, calls first witness

*Warning: The following contains graphic content that is 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.

Oak Bay double homicide

Just Posted

Island Inked magazine cover hopeful receiving strong local voting support

Chemainus Secondary grad and Ladysmith resident a strong contender for the top prize

Victoria to see extra ships after cruise company cancels Asia tour in wake of COVID-19

Coronovirus fears cause Celebrity Cruises to head west early

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

Vancouver Island’s L’Arche community reeling over findings of inquiry into founder

Participants stunned over findings of founder’s sexual misconduct

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

Protest is in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read