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Man jailed for life for murdering mum and two-year-old daughter and burying bodies under kitchen floor loses appeal
31 May 2023, 05:40 | Updated: 31 May 2023, 05:42
A man who was sent to prison for life for murdering a mother and her two-year-old daughter before burying their bodies underneath his kitchen floor has lost his appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Andrew Innes admitted to killing Ms Burke, 25, and her toddler, Jellica, but denied murder. He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 36 years at at the High Court in Edinburgh in February..
He was also convicted of sexually abusing the toddler and raping another child at his Dundee home between February 20 and March 5 2021.
When asked where Ms Burke was during his arrest, Innes told PC Gavin Burns "She's under the kitchen floor."
The killer claimed that medication caused him to suffer "steroid-induced psychosis" but the judge said during his trial that there was no evidence for this.
Innes has now lost his legal fight at the 'first sift' stage, with a judge ruling that "there are no arguable grounds" to challenge the original conviction and sentence.
He can still appeal to the 'second sift' stage, where his case would be considered by two or three judges.
Bennylyn and Jellica Burke's family said after Innes' conviction that "Bennylyn was the hope and light of our family. That light has been cruelly snuffed out.
"Bennylyn had bright ideas and big dreams. She bravely left home to seek a better future in a country far away. Instead, she found the worst cruelty we could ever imagine at the hands of someone she trusted.
"We shall be forever haunted by what happened to her in this far off place such a long way from us, her family.
"In the Philippines, poor families like ours very often have daughters and sisters who seek to fulfil their dreams for a better future abroad. Never do we imagine it will end in such terror and horror.
"We cannot drive from our minds what happened to her and what happened to Jellica, or the fear they must have felt after experiencing violence from Andrew Innes.
The statement continued: "A big part of our family has been torn from us. We shall never see Bennylyn and Jellica again. We shall never know our beloved Jellica or ever see her grow up.
"We pray for the child who suffered the cruelty of Andrew Innes. We are happy that she is being cared for and recovering from her trauma. Women and girls must be protected from predators like Andrew Innes.
""There is nothing that can restore Bennylyn and Jellica to us. But the jury's guilty verdict for murder provides some comfort to our family and friends and brings justice for Bennylyn and Jellica."