Man guilty of the murder of Bennylyn Burke and her daughter Jellica

A man who killed a woman and her two-year-old daughter before burying their bodies under his kitchen floor is facing life in prison after being convicted of murder.

Andrew Innes, 52, was found guilty of murdering 25-year-old Bennylyn Burke and Jellica Burke after a five-day trial at Edinburgh High Court.

He was also convicted of sexually abusing the boy and raping another boy at his Dundee home between February 20 and March 5, 2021.

Judge Lord Beckett ordered the jury to return guilty verdicts on both counts of murder, following the medical evidence heard about Innes’ state of mind at the time.

Bennylyn Burke and Jellica

Bennylyn Burke, 25, and her two-year-old daughter, Jellica (Police Scotland/PA)

Innes, who sometimes sobbed on the witness stand as he testified in his defense, had denied all charges, but the jury of eight men and seven women spent just under two and a half hours finding that he was responsible for the crimes. .

The family of Bennylyn and Jellica Burke said Innes’s crimes would “haunt them forever.”

In a statement through the Crown Office’s Victims Information and Advice Service (VIA), the family, who traveled from the Philippines to attend the trial, said: “A large part of our family has been taken from us. We will never see Bennylyn and Jellica again.

“We will never meet our beloved Jellica or see her grow up.”

The statement continued: “We will forever be haunted by what happened to (Bennylyn) in this faraway place, so far away from us, her family.”

He concluded: “There is nothing that can bring Bennylyn and Jellica back to us. But the jury’s guilty verdict for murder brings some comfort to our family and friends and brings justice for Bennylyn and Jellica.”

Murder of Bennylyn Burke

Flowers and a teddy bear at the entrance of the Innes house (Andrew Milligan/PA)

During the trial, the jury witnessed some of the most harrowing evidence ever brought before a Scottish court.

Innes admitted to killing Ms. Burke and Jellica, but denied murdering them and raised a special defense of diminished responsibility.

At his arrest, when he asked where Ms Burke was, Innes told PC Gavin Burns: “She’s under the kitchen floor.”

And, of the whereabouts of the two-year-old, he told Dc Hardie: “I go downstairs with mom. I couldn’t take care of a child. The child was screaming.”

Innes had claimed that Ms Burke lunged at him with a sushi knife and that killing her was an act of self-defense.

But this was not true, he admitted as he went to the witness box on the third day of his trial.

Instead, the court was told he was “apocalyptically angry” when he repeatedly struck her over the head with a hammer before stabbing her with a samurai sword recovered from his office.

Andrew Innes court case

Andrew Innes stood trial for murder in Edinburgh High Court (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The murder occurred as she was preparing food in the kitchen when, she said, she thought it looked like a hybrid of his estranged wife and abandoned lover.

In a pre-recorded interview with one of his victims, the girl he was found to have raped, recounted how a hammer was used to kill Ms Burke.

The girl said that Jellica died during a game of hide-and-seek and told the interviewer that she couldn’t save them because she “didn’t know what was going on.”

He said Innes sexually abused the girl and described repeated sexual assaults and rapes on her.

The girl told the court that after being sexually assaulted she would be paid, referring to “jobs” during the jury interview in which she recounted her ordeal.

Innes denied the sexual assaults when she was arrested, telling Detective Constable Paul Hardie on March 5, “I never touched the girl.”

But a jury found this to be a lie, having been presented with DNA evidence of items including handcuffs and clothing. They were told from the start of the trial that the girl had chlamydia, the same infection that Innes had.

Innes’s lies were further unraveled when the evidence of his mental state at the time was discussed.

Andrew Innes court case

Andrew Innes arriving at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Dr Gordon Cowan, a psychiatrist, told the court that Innes had changed her story several times when asked why she killed Ms Burke. At first he acted in self-defense, then heard voices, before Innes finally settled on her hybrid vision story.

Dr Cowan said of Innes: “It’s clear he had resentment towards his ex-partners and this lady in front of him, in some ways, reminded him of these ladies and he became angry, uncontrollably angry at her.”

And, Dr Cowan told the jury, there was a point where Innes felt he was psychotic when he killed Mrs Burke and not when he killed Jellica, but later said he had been psychotic during both murders.

He said that he changed his description of the events to suggest that he was “walking around like a zombie”.

When asked by Brian McConnachie KC, defending Innes, if his client’s behavior might have been related to steroid-induced psychosis, Dr Cowan pointed out that, prior to the murder, Innes had gone to B&Q, where he bought a hammer.

He told the court that if someone had florid psychosis, who suffered hallucinations and delusions to the point of killing people, they would not be doing their normal job without people noticing.

Innes claimed he was “insane as a result of the steroids” he had been prescribed for his Crohn’s disease, but Dr Cowan said he did not believe the 52-year-old was affected at the time he murdered Mr Burke, not when he killed him. he killed the child.

After he murdered them, and the little boy was murdered some three days after Mrs Burke, he hid them under the kitchen floor at his home in Troon Avenue, Dundee.

But Innes told the court they were not buried in concrete, saying during her testimony: “I dug a respectable grave and gave them a Christian burial and then replaced the floor,” she said. “That’s all I did.”

He also told the court about his self-castration attempt, negotiations with a possible “sex playmate”, and criticized his estranged wife for cutting and dyeing her hair in a way she did not like.

Innes now faces life in prison and each murder carries a mandatory life sentence.

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