Andrew Innes found guilty of double murder, sexual abuse

Andrew Innes found guilty of double murder, sexual abuse

The 52-year-old admitted to having killed Bennylyn Burke, 25, and Jellica Burke at his home in Dundee but argued he had diminished responsibility due to mental ill health.

Innes, who gave evidence in his defence, told the trial he was “apocalyptically angry” when he struck Ms Burke with a hammer and stabbed her on February 23 and around two to three days later killed the toddler.

He had denied all charges against him and lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility, but the jury of eight men and seven women dismissed this on Monday after around two and a half hours of deliberation.

Innes repeatedly hit the woman on the back of the head with a hammer, then stabbed her with a samurai sword. The toddler died of asphyxiation.

A five-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh also found he sexually abused the toddler and raped another child at his Troon Avenue address between February 20 and March 5 2021.

Bennylyn and Jellica Burke’s family made a statement through the Scottish prosecution service’s Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service.

“Bennylyn was the hope and light of our family. That light has been cruelly snuffed out,” it said.

“Bennylyn had bright ideas and big dreams. She bravely left home to seek a better future in a country far away. Instead, she found the worst cruelty we could ever imagine at the hands of someone she trusted. We shall be forever haunted by what happened to her in this far off place such a long way from us, her family.

“In the Philippines, poor families like ours very often have daughters and sisters who seek to fulfil their dreams for a better future abroad. Never do we imagine it will end in such terror and horror.

“We cannot drive from our minds what happened to her and what happened to Jellica, or the fear they must have felt after experiencing violence from Andrew Innes. A big part of our family has been torn from us. We shall never see Bennylyn and Jellica again. We shall never know our beloved Jellica or ever see her grow up.

“We pray for the child who suffered the cruelty of Andrew Innes. We are happy that she is being cared for and recovering from her trauma. Women and girls must be protected from predators like Andrew Innes.

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

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East Lothian Courier

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