An Oak Bay man says he didn’t make up his involvement with a loan shark and two henchmen in the days leading up to the murders of his young daughters.
Crown attorney Patrick Weir suggested to Andrew Berry on Monday that there was no loan shark named Paul or the two men who came to collect money owed.
Berry denied it.
He is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry in Oak Bay on Christmas Day in 2017.
The Crown’s theory is that Berry killed the girls and then tried to kill himself, but Berry says he owed thousands of dollars to the loan shark named Paul and was attacked in his apartment.
Berry told his jury trial that Paul was someone who was in his 30s when he first got to know him about 20 years ago, tall, Chinese, wore collared shirts, sounded Canadian, had a few girlfriends and dated someone who worked for the airline Cathay Pacific.
Berry said he didn’t know Paul’s last name.
On Monday, Berry described the two men who came to collect the loans, stored bags in his apartment and took a set of keys to the place.
One of them was tall, wore a “fancy” black leather jacket and had hair above his ears that he combed over, Berry said.
The other man was short, had tattoos, black short hair in a brush cut, wore a white T-shirt and a suit vest, he said.
Weir asked Berry whether he was frightened or worried about the safety of his daughters following the first visit of the loan collectors in mid-March 2017.
“Did it occur to you that your daughters should have zero part of this?” Weir asked Berry.
“I thought it would be no big deal,” he said. “I had my head I don’t know where.”
“In hindsight, that was potentially very, very dangerous,” Weir said.
“Yes,” Berry agreed.
His daughters were in the apartment watching a movie while the two men hid a bag in his closet, he testified.
Berry has said he thought the bag contained drugs.
The same two men came to his apartment at least five times, the trial heard.
“Did you think to how this would affect the safety of the girls?” Weir asked.
“No,” Berry said. “I’m just not that bright.”
The trial heard earlier that police found a note at the apartment where the girl’s were murdered written by Berry.
It was addressed to Berry’s sister, and detailed grievances with relatives and the girls’ mother.
“Betrayed, bullied, and miscast I set out to leave with the kids,” the letter said. “But I thought it better for myself and kids to escape.”
The note contained Berry’s passwords and banking information.
Berry testified that the note was old and he had written it a month previous to the murders when he tried to kill himself.
The Canadian Press