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

Ashnola at the Crossing
Keremeos youth addiction treatment centre to close

Ashnola at the Crossing will be closing its doors permanently on March 31.

Mike Barrett plans to start cycling on March 10 to raise funds for the Unicorn Project school in India. He aims to cycle 13,000 kilometres, with the last stretch traveling from Dehli to Bodhgaya. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton retiree to cycle 13,000 km to raise funds for school in India

Mike Barrett hopes to raise at least $5,000 for the school

Hundreds gather in Penticton in June 2020, for the Black Lives Matter protest. (Phil McLachlan, Black Press Media)
Penticton residents fire back at RCMP over right to protests during pandemic

As long as COVID-19 safety measures are maintained, citizens have a right to protest

A group of Penticton residents have planned a protest Friday, March 5, 2020 at Gyro Park to voice their concerns over city council’s refusal to allow a temporary winter shelter to stay open. (Google Maps photo)
Penticton protest to go on despite police warning

Desiree Franz says she’s willing to accept the risk of being fined by RCMP

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson at the controls of the new Penticton Fire Rescue boat on Skaha Lake Friday afternoon. Firefighter Austin Conquergood is on one of the department's two personal watercraft.
Mark Brett/Western News
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

An air quality advisory continues in Vernon March 4 due to high levels of dust in the air from winter traction material. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Dust still hasn’t settled in Vernon, starting to rise in Kelowna

Air quality advisory will last until the next rainfall or until enough street sweeping work is done

Pharmacists will distribute NARCAN nasal sprays at 470 Belleville St. May 1 from 7 a.m. until 6 pm. or until handouts are gone. (Black Press File).
Man brought back to life by North Okanagan RCMP

Victim was not breathing following overdose, until life-saving efforts of police

A B.C. government-run cannabis retail outlet was proposed for a building to be constructed at the Salmon Arm SmartCentres site. (File photo)
Province backs away from plans for Salmon Arm cannabis store

BC Cannabis Store was proposed to be in building to be constructed at shopping centre

Sicamous will have a new locally-owned option for grabbing a bite on the go as the Snacktastic food trailer opened at the start of March. (Kelly Hesleton/Facebook)
Snacktastic offers Sicamous a new dining option

Food trailer owner Dawn Backs grateful for support from family and community

A fire truck and police car park at the entrance to the Foreshore Trail about 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 4 as fire crews respond to a report of a fire farther down the trail and just above the railway tracks, between Lakeshore Road and the tracks. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Fire Department quickly extinguishes fire above Foreshore Trail

Blaze started when man’s campfire catches fuel containers on fire

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Most Read