Sarah Cotton with her daughters Chloe (left) and Aubrey Berry (right) taken in October 2017. A Victoria court found their father Andrew Berry guilty in the second degree of their murder in December 2017. (Photo Ryan MacDonald Photography)

Victoria father who murdered his two daughters to be sentenced today

Andrew Berry murdered Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, on Christmas Day 2017

Andrew Berry, the Oak Bay father who murdered his daughters, Aubrey and Chloe Berry, on Christmas Day in 2017 will find out his sentence Thursday.

On Tuesday lawyers took turns addressing Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper with suggested parole eligibility. Defence attorney Kevin McCullough asked for 15 to 20 years and made no mention of consecutive or concurrent sentencing.

“Mr. Berry says he did not kill the children,” he said on Tuesday, the second day of the sentencing hearing and the same day 13 victim impacts statements and three community impact statements were read in court.

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

Crown lawyer Patrick Weir asked for a sentence of 21 to 24 years for each count, severed concurrently or at the same time.

On Monday, Gropper determined the facts of the case which she would base Berry’s sentence on. Crown counsel Clare Jennings called Berry’s alternate tale of owing money to a loan shark named Paul “completely fabricated” and “self-serving.”

Gropper agreed with Crown, stating that it “defies logic” that the loan shark would kill the children and leave Berry alive.

Evidence shown at trial determined the girls were killed where they were sleeping, in their own home, which Gropper said would be considered an aggravating factor. There was blood inside the suite, but no blood was found anywhere outside the suite.

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

Chloe was struck in the head and stabbed 26 times, Aubrey was stabbed 32 times. Berry was found naked, in a bathtub full of water with wounds to his neck, which the judge found to be self-inflicted.

It is unclear which girl was killed first.

“Berry would have seen the effects of his stabbings and then moved on to the other bedroom and done the same thing to the second daughter. A period of time must have elapsed,” said Jennings, adding that Crown did not know whether all the wounds were inflicted to each child one at a time, or whether Berry went back and forth between the two.

Gropper said Berry’s motive, at least in part, was to hurt Sarah Cotton, the girls’ mother

“Berry believed, for good reason, that he wouldn’t get the girls back when he handed them over to Sarah on Christmas Day,” said the judge. The electricity to Berry’s apartment had been turned off and he admitted he had no money to get it turned back on.

“To try to understand how the father of my children is capable of doing such a horrific and unimaginable act to his own daughters is inconceivable,” Cotton told the packed courtroom, through tears on Tuesday. “All they ever did was love him.”

READ MORE: About this case



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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