This story contains details that some readers may find distressing.
Judges in B.C.’s Court of Appeal have dismissed Andrew Berry’s appeal of his murder conviction, in the murder of his two daughters on Christmas Day in 2017.
In December 2019, Andrew Berry was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 22 years for the murder of his two daughters, 6-year-old Chloe and 4-year-old Aubrey.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper told Andrew Berry that he committed heinous crimes against his daughters as she sentenced him.
“The girls were killed in their own beds, in their own home, where they had every expectation to be safe,” Gropper said in December 2019.
The trial heard each girl had been stabbed dozens of times and Berry was found naked and unconscious in the bathtub of his Oak Bay apartment suffering from stab wounds to his neck and throat.
Following the trial, Andrew Berry filed an appeal which was heard in June 2022.
In the appeal, his lawyers argued the jury heard evidence they shouldn’t have, including that paramedics and firefighters said Andrew Berry was saying “leave me alone, kill me” when he was first found, when he woke from surgery that he mouthed the words “kill me” to a nurse, and handwritten notes between Andrew Berry and his sister.
The Crown countered that the amount of evidence against Andrew Berry meant a conviction was inevitable.
The appeal was heard by Court of Appeal justices John Hunter, Patrice Abrioux, and Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten, and in a written decision issued on Nov. 23, 2022, they dismissed Andrew Berry’s appeal of the murder conviction.
“None of the grounds of appeal establish errors that warrant this Court’s intervention. With respect to the admissibility of statements at the scene of the crime and at the hospital, the trial judge did not err in concluding that the first responders, hospital staff, and the appellant’s sister were not persons in authority,” the justices wrote in their decision.
“As such, the common law confessions rule was not engaged and those statements were not inadmissible.”
The justices also ruled Andrew Berry was not detained at the scene or when he was first admitted to hospital, and that the trial judge correctly found the appellant, while admitted under the Mental Health Act, did not have a constitutionally protected right to silence.
“There were no errors in the trial judge’s charge to the jury regarding the use of the appellant’s out-of-court statements, the evidence of his attempted suicide, or the instructions on manslaughter,” the judges wrote.
“The trial judge carefully instructed the jury on each of these points and it was up to the jury to decide how to assess the relevant evidence and what weight to give to it. Finally, there was no error in law or principle in the mid-trial rulings regarding evidence of the appellant’s silence or the adequacy of the investigation.”
-With files from CHEK’s April Lawrence and Kori Sidaway