Criminal defence lawyer Kevin McCullough representing Andrew Berry spoke outside the courthouse after the hearing.

Counsel stresses presumption of innocence in Oak Bay murder case

Lawyer Kevin McCullough represents Andrew Berry in Christmas double-homicide case

Andrew Berry, the Oak Bay father charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his two daughters found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day, made his second court appearance this morning.

Berry appeared in the courtroom by video, hair cut short and sitting very still.

While a publication ban was in effect for today’s hearing, Berry’s criminal defence lawyer, Kevin McCullough, spoke outside the courthouse after the hearing.

“It’s not fair to argue a case in the media. I hope that the presumption of innocence is here,” said McCullough. “It is so important for the protection of our democracy, that presumption of innocence be alive and well.”

RELATED: Oak Bay gathers to honour sisters

McCullough would make no comment on a bail hearing, however he did clarify the process.

“The accused is entitled to bring a bail application at any time. The burden, in part, is on the accused to establish that he can be released,” said McCullough. “Usually, murder bail hearings don’t happen as instantaneously as bail hearings in provincial court on regular criminal offences.”

Andrew Berry is having a difficult time in custody, according to his counsel. When asked about Berry’s mental state, McCullough said the Crown has made no request at this point for a psychiatric evaluation. It is the Crown that typically makes the court-ordered request.

“For a person who has never been in custody before, it is always very difficult. I can tell you that in part, that’s why I’m looking for a speedy trial. That’s why I want to get this trial set,” said McCullough.

While he voiced concerns about the impact of police and media communications on bias in the community, McCullough expressed his hope that Victoria citizens can uphold the presumption of innocence.

“There are factors that impact the location of a trial and one of them is if there is a perception of bias in the community. We’re establishing the perception of bias,” said McCullough. “The citizens of Victoria are smart people and I hope are able to apply the presumption of innocence. There’s no reason to think that they can’t.”

Next court date is set for Feb.22 where preliminary trial dates are expected to be set.

RELATED: A thousand come out to honour Chloe and Aubrey Berry at public funeral

On Christmas Day, Chloe and Aubrey were in the care of their father at his apartment on the corner of Beach Drive and Goodwin Street in Oak Bay, B.C.. The children were supposed to go home to their mother’s house on Christmas afternoon but didn’t arrive. Their mother Sarah Cotton contacted the Oak Bay police who responded to Berry’s apartment and found the bodies of the two girls.

RELATED: Scholarship set up to honour the lives of Chloe and Aubrey Berry

Andrew Berry was found in the apartment with them, suffering from injuries, and was taken to the hospital. Berry was arrested and charged upon release from the hospital.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Westshore Rebels game postponed due to poor air quality conditions

Games expected to continue the following week

BC Farmers’ Market Trail a one-stop virtual guide to the goods

New website assembles, profiles 145+ farmers’ markets throughout B.C.

Saanich police investigating sexual assault in broad daylight

Social media lit up with accusations incident took place at Regina Park tent city

Swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Oak Bay man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read