Andrew Berry has been found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don)

Oak Bay Mayor hopes guilty verdict brings closure to family, friends of Aubrey and Chloe

Andrew Berry found guilty of second-degree murder of his two daughters

In a courtroom in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a 12-person jury declared Andrew Berry guilty on both counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his two daughters.

Aubrey, 4, and Chloe, 6, were found murdered in their father’s Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day in 2017. Berry was found naked and injured in his bathtub.

Kevin Murdoch, Oak Bay mayor, was in Vancouver for the UBCM convention but felt compelled to be in the courtroom when the verdict was being read Thursday evening. The room was full, yet quiet. As the verdict was read gasps could be heard.

RELATED: Oak Bay double murder trial: Five months of evidence, testimony summarized

“[This] doesn’t change anything, the girls are still gone … it’s hard to describe the emotions hearing the verdict – definitely relief,” says Murdoch.

Once the verdict was read and he had left the courthouse, Murdoch – feeling like someone had kicked him in the gut – called his daughter, who’s not far from the age of Chloe and Aubrey.

“I just said,’ I wanted to hear your voice’.”

RELATED: Oak Bay father Andrew Berry guilty in daughters’ murders

Murdoch can recall hearing the sirens pass his home two Christmases ago, when the lives of so many changed. Chloe, in Grade One at Christ Church Cathedral School, had recently fallen in love with horseback riding. Aubrey was in her last year of preschool at St. Christopher’s Montessori School. Both were artistic, energetic and loved spending time at Willows Beach.

On Friday, Chirst Church school brought in counsellors once again, as it has previously, said head of school Stuart Hall.

“It’s been a long 21 months, we’re glad its over and relieved that its over,” Hall said. “The trial has been particularly hard. We were somewhat shocked at the level of detail that came out, and it was hard for everyone.

“We are now looking for ways to move ahead and to heal.”

That healing is a process that started with a candle-lit vigil on Dec. 30, 2017, that drew more than 2,000 to Willows Park. Locals gathered to share their shock, pain and support for the girls’ mother, Sarah Cotton.

Murdoch says he doesn’t know what comes next for the community, but that he wants Cotton to know the community is behind her.

“She’s got an amazing circle of friends and she’s so strong,” he says. “I hope this brings some level of closure, I know it won’t really, but I hope it does.”

Murdoch says he hopes this verdict brings some peace to the first responders who dealt with the case as well.

“Having to go through the trial, it’s been hard and I think this will help those people a lot – just knowing they went through all of that for something,” he says. “That there’s an outcome here.”

A close friend of Cotton told Black Press Media the verdict was a relief, adding it was a harder six months than anticipated.

READ MORE: About this case.

With files from Nina Grossman and Travis Paterson



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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

andrew berrydouble murderOak Bay double homicide

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

Just Posted

Tour de Rock turns community bubble relay race amid pandemic

Alumni will take on socially distanced leg of race in their hometowns

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Most Read