Andrew Berry arrives in a BC Sheriffs transport vehicle at the Victoria Courthouse for his sentencing hearing which is set to begin at 10 a.m. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Andrew Berry arrives in a BC Sheriffs transport vehicle at the Victoria Courthouse for his sentencing hearing which is set to begin at 10 a.m. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

VIDEO: Oak Bay father who killed daughters eligible for parole after 22 years

Andrew Berry get life sentence for the murders of Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, on Christmas Day 2017

Andrew Berry will serve 22 years before he is eligible for parole, but will get credit towards his parole eligibility for each day he’s been remanded in custody – nearly two years. Berry was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his two children, Aubrey and Chloe Berry, who were found stabbed to death in their own beds, in their own home on Christmas Day in 2017.

Outside the courthouse after sentencing, Oak Bay Deputy Police Chief Ray Bernoties said he feels nothing positive about the outcome.

“Nothing changed from two years ago on Christmas,” he said, fighting back tears. “Two innocent girls were taken from our community. And we’ll move on together.”

Chloe was six and Aubrey was four when they were killed. They loved to paint and their favourite colours were pink and purple. Chloe was missing some of her baby teeth and you could see gaps when she smiled. Aubrey would throw her head back when she laughed and wanted to travel the world.

Only whispers were heard Thursday morning when Berry entered the courtroom. He glanced briefly at the rows of people before his handcuffs were removed.

Berry was sentenced to life in prison for their deaths. His sentences will be served concurrently and he will be eligible for parole in 22 years.

RELATED: Oak Bay father appeals conviction for killing daughters

Supreme Court Justice Miriam Gropper laid out her decision for the courtroom after a three-day sentencing hearing, discussing Berry’s motive and facts of the case. She noted Berry was not suffering from any mental or physical disabilities at the time of the murders.

Oak Bay Deputy Police Chief Ray Bernoties spoke outside the Victoria courthouse after Andrew Berry was sentenced to 22 years without parole for murdering his daughters, Chloe and Aubrey Berry. Bernoties said there was no closure from the sentencing. “I can honestly tell you I feel nothing positive from today,” he said. “Nothing changed from two years ago on Christmas.” (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

She determined Berry harboured resentment and anger towards the girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton, since the couple separated in 2015. Berry testified he thought Cotton had taken intentional steps to “screw him over,” and that he wanted Cotton to blame herself.

Earlier this week, lawyers took turns addressing Gropper with suggested parole eligibility. Defence attorney Kevin McCullough asked for 15 to 20 years and made no mention of consecutive or concurrent sentencing.

Crown lawyer Patrick Weir asked for a sentence of 21 to 24 years for each count, served concurrently or at the same time.

On Monday, Gropper determined the facts of the case which she would base Berry’s sentence on. Crown counsel Clare Jennings called Berry’s alternate tale of owing money to a loan shark “completely fabricated” and “self-serving.”

Gropper agreed with Crown, stating that it “defies logic” that the loan shark would kill the children and leave Berry alive.

Evidence shown at trial determined the girls were killed where they were sleeping, in their own home, which Gropper said would be considered an aggravating factor. There was blood inside the suite, but no blood was found anywhere outside the suite.

Chloe was struck in the head with a pink toy bat, hard enough to fracture her skull and render her unconscious before she was stabbed 26 times. Aubrey was stabbed 32 times. Both of them had stab wounds to the front and back of their body. Berry was found naked, in a bathtub full of water with wounds to his neck, which the judge found to be self-inflicted.

It is unclear which girl was killed first.

Gropper stated that in both murders, Berry would have had to turn their bodies over at least twice and that he would have had to walk between their rooms. This shows it was not a spontaneous decision and that he would have seen the effects of his stabbing on the first child, before moving on to the next. It’s not known if he went back and forth between the girls, or at all.

A knife, similar to a set found in Berry’s kitchen, was found on the floor next to Aubrey’s body. A sheath for the same knife was found on the kitchen floor. Neither girl had defensive wounds.

On Tuesday, 13 victim impact statements and three community impact statements were read aloud in court.

A drawing, done by a four-year-old boy who was close friends with Aubrey and Chloe, that was shown in court. It depecits a house on the right, where the little boy is alone in his room crying. On the left, he’s drawn Chloe and Aubrey in the sky, in a rainbow house. A line separates the two homes, with a small gap where two birds have flown through. (Provided by Crown Counsel)

Cotton issued a statement after the sentencing decision on Thursday.

“I believe the family law system and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) failed us leading up to the girls’ deaths,” Cotton said in the statement. “I did everything in my power to keep my children safe. However, my concerns made to MCFD about my children’s wellbeing in their father’s care and Andrew’s mental health fell on deaf ears. Then my concerns that he had a personality disorder were not brought forward in any significant way through the family court process. I can only hope that changes will be made throughout the family law system so that tragedies such as ours do not happen again.”

Berry was at the end of his rope financially. He had gambled away his pension from a 15-year career at BC Ferries. His hydro had been cut off and he didn’t have money for food.

“Berry believed, for good reason, that he wouldn’t get the girls back when he handed them over to Sarah on Christmas Day,” said the judge.

RELATED: Story told by Oak Bay dad who killed daughters ‘defies logic,’ says judge at start of sentencing

Weir said Crown lawyers believe the sentence is appropriate, but recognize no outcome is enough.

“Of course he’s serving a life sentence so there is no guarantee he will ever get parole,” Weir said. “Even though it’s a long period of time, the fact is that it will do some good, but it will not, of course, remove the trauma that has been placed on this community by Mr. Berry’s actions, which will last far longer than the 22 years.”

In her statement, Cotton noted she is relieved this part of the judicial process is over and supported the judge’s decision, although she said there is no length of sentence appropriate for these crimes.

She thanked Crown prosecutors and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit for their work.

“I want to thank my community of Oak Bay, especially all the first responders for their strength, bravery, courage and sensitivity throughout this horrific tragedy. This community, including my neighbours in Oak Bay, have held me up and embraced me the last two years – I have felt so protected … I hope to find a little bit of peace in the coming year and hope that we can all heal as we move forward.”

Crown prosecutors Patrick Weir and Clare Jennings spoke to media outside the Victoria courthouse after Andrew Berry, who murdered his two young daughters, was sentenced to 22 years without parole. “I’m not sure if satisfied is the right word,” said Weir, who asked the judge for 21-24 years without parole. “Relieved that it’s finished. and pleased that the community can perhaps start to get some closure and some peace.” (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

READ MORE: About this case


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

andrew berryOak Bay double homicide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

A water taxi at Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested after stealing water taxi, racing it up Gorge Waterway

Man is facing recommended charges of theft over $5,000

Inmates at Metchosin’s William Head Institution are being given COVID-19 vaccines as part of the first phase. Around 600 inmates will be vaccinated in the coming days. (Black Press Media file photo)
William Head inmates in Metchosin receive their first doses of COVID vaccine

Priority set for older inmates and those with underlying medical conditions

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read