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

Tracy Owen-Best with her husband, Larry Best. Tracy runs both the Nechako Barbershop and Hair Essentials Salon in Kitimat. Diagnosed with cancer in March 2020, she’s kept a positive mindset with the help from a supportive family. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Tracy Owen-Best

Barbershop owner and cancer fighter keeps it positive

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The fence option chosen for the 461 Quatsino Boulevard development is the red lines that border the site plan. The fence will be roughly six feet high with the exception of the fence bordering Cranberry Street which will be eight feet high. (Boni Maddison Architects photo)
Fence to be erected between housing project and Kitimat homeowners

Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)
Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Most Read