Oak Bay father on trial for daughters' murders describes deal with alleged loan shark
Published Friday, August 23, 2019 6:37PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, August 23, 2019 6:57PM PDT
The Oak Bay father accused of his killing his daughters on Christmas Day was back on the witness stand Friday, answering questions under cross-examination.
Andrew Berry, 45, has pleaded not guilty to murdering daughters Chloe, 6, and Aubrey, 4, who were found dead in Berry's Oak Bay apartment on Christmas Day 2017.
Crown counsel Patrick Weir grilled Berry repeatedly about the loan shark Berry testified about on Thursday. Berry had told the court about a tall Asian man who loaned him money, who he knew only as "Paul", and about how he feared the man after getting into bad gambling debts with him.
Berry said he ultimately agreed to hand over the keys to his apartment to the loan shark, as part of settlement for a debt. He said he also agreed to allow Paul to store bags he thought contained illicit drugs in his apartment.
Weir asked Berry repeatedly on Friday to describe what he knew about Paul, given Berry had testified he'd known him for approximately 20 years. Berry said their dealings were primarily business transactions and he didn’t know him well or personally.
Berry said he thought Paul was Chinese, and described him as slender, tall and dark-haired.
The court has heard how the little girls were stabbed multiple times and Berry was found by first responders naked in his bathtub with serious wounds.
On Friday, Berry told the jury about the lack of food in his apartment in the days leading up to Christmas 2017, describing a bare fridge with only condiments in it and not much more to eat in the pantries than cabbage, potato flakes, and oatmeal.
Berry told the court his power was shut off because he forgot to pay his hydro bill and didn't have an active bank account
Berry also testified that his sister, who is a police officer, visited him three times in jail after his arrest. He hasn't seen her since he told her he was innocent of the alleged crimes, he said.
At one point Weir challenged Berry about the defence's theory of the case, asking Berry, "Didn't you want to say, 'You've got it all wrong? I didn't kill m daughters?'"
Berry responded, "I needed a lawyer. I was under arrest and that's just what it felt like."
Andrew Berry will be back on the stand Monday to answer more questions from the Crown under cross-examination.