Man found guilty of murdering mum and two-year-old daughter and burying bodies under kitchen floor

6 February 2023, 15:47 | Updated: 6 February 2023, 16:34

Bennylyn Burke and her two-year-old daughter Jellica
Bennylyn Burke and her two-year-old daughter Jellica. Picture: Alamy/Police Scotland
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Andrew Innes has been found guilty of murdering Bennylyn Burke and her two-year-old daughter before burying their bodies underneath his kitchen floor.

It comes after a jury was told by the trial judge that it must find Innes guilty of murdering two mother and daughter.

Innes admitted to killing Ms Burke and her toddler, Jellica, but denied murder. He has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 36 years.

Lord Beckett told the jury at the High Court in Edinburgh that these could no longer be upheld after the evidence of Dr Gordan Cowan as to the accused's mental state.

Lord Beckett said: "I'm directing you on charges one and two you will return a verdict of guilty."

The judge said there was insufficient evidence to support Innes' evidence that medication caused him to suffer "steroid-induced psychosis".

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."

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

Regarding Ms Burke's toddler, he told Dc Hardie: "Under the floor with mum. I couldn't look after a child. The child was screaming."

Bennylyn and Jellica Burke's family have made a statement through the Scottish prosecution service's Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service.

"Bennylyn was the hope and light of our family. That light has been cruelly snuffed out," it said.

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"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.

Andrew Innes has been found guilty of murdering a mum and her two-year-old daughter
Andrew Innes has been found guilty of murdering a mum and her two-year-old daughter. Picture: Alamy

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."

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