Chloe, 6, and her 4 year old sister Aubrey

The trial for an Oak Bay father accused of murdering his two young daughters in 2017 is set to begin in Vancouver on Monday, April 15th.

Andrew Berry is being charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of his two daughters, Chloe Berry, 6, and Aubrey Berry, 4.

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On Christmas day, 2017, the sisters were expected to be at their father’s apartment in the morning before heading to their mother’s home in the afternoon.

When the girls never showed up at their mother’s home, police checked on Berry’s Beach Drive apartment and found the bodies of the two young girls inside.

Berry was also found in his apartment by police and was taken to hospital for treatment of self-inflicted injuries.

His trial is scheduled to begin on April 15th at BC’s Supreme Court in Vancouver.

A publication ban, which was first ordered in January, 2018, remains in effect.

A long and ugly history

According to court documents, Andrew Berry and Sarah Cotton spent five days in November 2016, in the B.C. Supreme Court fighting for custody of their daughters.

On May 31st, 2017, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Victoria Gray handed down her judgement for a shared custody arrangement.

With regard to Christmas 2017, the girls were to have parenting time with the father from noon on December 24 to noon on December 25.

The court document outlines a series of disturbing allegations against Berry in the past:

  • Cotton testified that after her father passed away in 2013, Berry started criticizing her and calling her foul names in front of the girls.
  • When Berry was angry with her, he would drive erratically and go over the speed limit, even when the children were in the car.
  • The court accepted Cotton’s “uncontradicted evidence” that Berry threatened to “blow up the house” if he didn’t get a breakdown of childcare expenses and family allowance cheques from the government.
  • In September 2013, Berry was arrested when Cotton called the police after he pinned her to her bed at around 3 AM.
  • In October 2015, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) investigated Berry after reports that he had inappropriately touched Aubrey’s genitals. He was then instructed to take parenting courses.

Failed by the system?

Back in 2017, these and other revelations in the court document had many in the community asking whether the judicial system failed to protect Chloe and Aubrey.

Despite the girls’ mother’s allegations of domestic abuse during the custody battle, the judge deemed that Berry’s behaviour did not justify denying him time spent with his daughters.

With files from Brishti Basu

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