Man admits killing mother and daughter, 2, and burying their bodies under his floorboards - but denies raping a child

31 January 2023, 17:18

Bennylyn and Jessica Burke
Bennylyn and Jessica Burke. Picture: Police Scotland/Alamy

By Kit Heren

A man has admitted killing a mother and her two-year-old daughter, but denies raping the little girl and another child.

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Andrew Innes is accused of murdering Bennylyn Burke, 25, and Jellica Burke, at his house in Troon Avenue, Dundee in Scotland between February 20 and March 5 2021.

Innes, 52, denies murdering the mother and daughter, as well as raping another child.

He admits killing Ms Burke and Jellica and burying them underneath the floorboards in his home, but has lodged a special defence to the murder charges of absence of responsibility and diminished responsibility.

The court heard in agreed evidence that he met Ms Burke on a dating app, and drove her from Bristol to Dundee on February 18 2021.

Bennylyn Burke and her two-year-old daughter Jellica
Bennylyn Burke and her two-year-old daughter Jellica. Picture: Police Scotland

The jury was also told how he stabbed Ms Burke and hit her head with a knife handle and a hammer.

Ms Burke, who weighed 5st 7lb, suffered a single stab wound to her chest which was 158 mm deep, as well as head injuries, according to a post mortem. Pathologists ruled that her death was caused by internal bleeding and her head injuries.

Jellica was asphyxiated by an unknown method, the court was told. A post-mortem examination revealing that there had been pressure on the girl's mouth and neck.

The court was told Innes wrapped a rubble bag, blanket and tarpaulin around the head of Ms Burke and hid her beneath the kitchen floor. The court was told he also put the body of the two-year-old under the floor.

The accused, represented by Brian McConnachie KC, has also been charged with raping and assaulting a seven-year-old girl. He denies all the charges.

In the joint minutes read to the jury, they were told a swab of the girl revealed she had chlamydia trachiotimus and in a separate urine test of the accused, he also tested positive for the infection.

Innes, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2021, was also diagnosed with having autism spectrum disorder. Judge Lord Beckett told the jury that the trial, prosecuted by Alex Prentice KC, was expected to last into next week.

He warned them: "From this moment until the end of the trial, you must not make any outside investigations or inquires of your own about this case, the people involved in it, or any issue it raises." The trial continues.

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