Sisters four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were murdered by their father Andrew Berry in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day. (Submitted photo)

Sisters four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were murdered by their father Andrew Berry in his Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day. (Submitted photo)

B.C. father’s parole eligibility must reflect ‘extremely vicious’ nature of daughters’ murders: Crown

Andrew Berry faces life sentence, justice to return Thursday with verdict on parole eligibilty

Warning: This story contains disturbing content about a double murder

Nearly two years after four-year-old Aubrey Berry and six-year-old Chloe Berry were found murdered in their father’s Oak Bay apartment, family, friends, first responders and community members had the chance to address the man who killed them.

In September, Andrew Berry, 45, was convicted in the violent stabbing deaths of his young daughters, discovered in their beds on Christmas night, 2017.

RELATED: Story told by Oak Bay dad who killed daughters ‘defies logic,’ says judge at start of sentencing

One after another, victim impact statements were delivered to the court room, which included a solemn and stoic Andrew Berry in the prisoner’s box.

Berry faces an automatic life sentence. In the afternoon, lawyers took turns addressing Justice Miriam Gropper with suggested parole eligibility.

Defense attorney, Kevin McCullough made only a brief address to the judge, asking for 15 to 20 years, with no mention of consecutive or concurrent sentencing.

“Mr. Berry says he did not kill the children,” he said.

Crown lawyer Patrick Weir asked for a sentence of 21 to 24 years for each count, served concurrently, meaning Berry would serve both counts at the same time.

Weir said Berry’s sentence must be “proportionate to the gravity of the offense” and called the Oak Bay father’s actions “selfish to a degree that denies comprehension.”

RELATED: Mother of murdered Oak Bay girls gives tearful victim impact statement

He asked the judge to consider a series of aggravating factors when handing down her sentence.

One factor, he said, is the fact that Berry deliberately ended the lives of two victims, and another is that those two victims were his own children, what he called, in a reference to case law, the “worst possible breach of trust.”

“Neither of these children could have fought back or defended themselves against these horrific acts,” Weir said. “They were absolutely defenceless. Neither showed any clear evidence of defence wounds.

“These children should have been protected by their father, not murdered by him.”

Weir also pointed to the “extremely vicious” nature of the attack. Berry used both a knife and bat in his attack of Chloe, and a knife in his attack of Aubrey.

The girls were found with dozens of stab wounds on the front and backs of their bodies and Chloe had been struck with such force she had a fractured skull in several places and significant bleeding and swelling in her brain.

RELATED: Oak Bay father Andrew Berry guilty in daughters’ murders

“There can be no possible explanation for the amount of overkill used by Mr. Berry,” Weir said. “Both of these attacks… would have taken some time to carry out. And at least one of the attacks… was not spontaneous but rather, occurred after Mr. Berry had seen the effect of his stabbing on the first daughter he murdered.”

Weir said the consequences and profound devastation the murders have had on the girls’ family, friends and community must be a consideration in sentencing.

“That two little children were stabbed to death on both their fronts and their backs, both before and after their hearts stopped beating, while in their own beds, in their own home on Christmas morning is unquestionably horrific,” he said.

After delivering the guilty verdict on Sept. 26, the jury made recommendations to Gropper on parole eligibility, with six jurors recommending 15 years for each count served consecutively (one after another), two suggesting 10 years for each count served concurrently and four withholding recommendations.

Gropper is expected to deliver her decision in the Victoria Courthouse on Thursday morning at 10 a.m.

RELATED: Oak Bay double murder trial: Five months of evidence, testimony summarized



nina.grossman@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

This concept artwork from July 2020 shows the inland port planned for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site in Terrace. (Image courtesy Hatha Callis, Progressive Ventures Group)
Terrace city council approves inland port OCP amendments

Project still requires zoning bylaw, development permit to continue

This copper frog pendant was made by Jamika Aksidan, a young Nisga’a artist who was recently recognized with an award for her work. (Photo courtesy Nisga’a Museum)
Nisga’a youth artist wins award

Award includes $500, exhibition in Nisga’a Museum

A BC Hydro outage is affecting nearly 4000 customers in Kitimat. The cause of the outage is under investigation. (Screenshot/BC Hydro Outage Map)
Cable fault responsible for Kitimat power outage, BC Hydro says

At its peak, the BC Hydro power outage affected near 4,000 customers

Graph showing the 2020 passenger totals at the Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace. (Submitted/Northwest Regional Airport)
New year brings an end to a turbulent 2020 at Northwest Regional Airport

Passenger totals half of what they were in 2019

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read