Second witness takes stand at Andrew Berry Murder trial


WATCH: The trial of the Oak Bay man accused of murdering his two daughters in 2017, continued in Vancouver Wednesday. The first witness, Cst. Piotr Ulanowski, finished his testimony after three gruelling days of cross-examination by the defence, and the second witness took the stand. Luisa Alvarez has the details. 

Cst. Ulanowski was hammered by the defence in his third day of cross-examination.  After admitting to speaking to his wife about his testimony the defence said his credibility was undermined and his evidence compromised. The judge had told the witnesses that they were not allowed to speak with anyone.

Ulanowski responded that he thought spouses were exempt and said “I trust my wife” he went onto say he did not go into depth and then apologized.

The defence also accused Ulanowski of never considering Andrew Berry a victim and only treating him as the killer.

“That’s why you didn’t ask him any questions about who was the killer,” said defence Lawyer Kevin McCullogh.

“He was unconscious” replied Ulanowski.

“From the moment you were involved in this matter, Mr. Berry was the killer never the victim,” said McCullogh. 

The second witness to take the stand was Sgt. Michael Martin of the Oak Bay Police Department.

He was the second officer at the scene after Cst. Ulanowski.

Sgt. Martin testified that on Christmas Day 2017 at around 4 pm the girl’s mother Sarah Cotton and Brenda Berry their grandmother came to the Oak Bay Police Station claiming Berry was late returning the girls.

Sgt. Martin testified that Cotton e-mailed him an electronic version of the separation agreement that indicated he was supposed to have them returned by noon. He said he called Berry and emailed him but was unsuccessful in reaching him.

Sgt. Martin recalled sending Ulanowski to Berry’s apartment to facilitate the return of the children, and kept Cotton and Brenda Berry in an interview room to try and get more information on where Andrew Berry could be.

Sgt. Martin testified he was able to call Berry’s sister, whose name is under a publication ban, and was informed by her that Andrew Berry was depressed but not suicidal.

She also informed Sgt. Martin that Berry was having financial difficulties which resulted in the electricity being shut off in his apartment but that the heat was still functioning.

Berry’s sister also indicated to Sgt. Martin on the phone that Berry was a good father who would not hurt his children. Also, he had a mistrust of police but was generally respectful.

After finishing his phone call with Berry’s sister, Sgt. Martin testified that he received a phone call from Ulanowski and that is when he became concerned.

During that phone call, Sgt. Martin testified that Ulanowski told him Berry did not answer the door and when he called he could hear it ringing through the door.

After they were unsuccessful in locating Berry or four-year-old Aubrey,  and six-year-old Chloe, Sgt. Martin testified they began a search for them.

Sgt. Martin became very emotional on the stand, choking back tears when talking about getting pictures of the girls along with descriptions of what they were wearing from Cotton that night to send out to other police departments as well as transit and taxi companies.

His testimony will resume on Thursday.

Andrew Berry has pleaded not guilty to both murders. The trial is expected to last four months.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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