VANCOUVER — A Vancouver Island father accused of murdering his two young daughters denied Monday he was lying to the court.
At first Andrew Berry ignored the question from Crown attorney Patrick Weir who asked if he was making things up.
“No,” Berry replied.
Weir suggested Berry wasn’t truthful about his involvement with a loan shark named Paul, his two henchmen and his alleged suicide attempt in the days leading up to the murders of his young daughters.
Berry denied the allegations.
He is accused of second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry in Oak Bay on Christmas Day in 2017.
The trial heard earlier that police found a note at the apartment where the girl’s were murdered written by Berry.
Berry told the jury that the note was written a month before the girls’ deaths, when he tried to kill himself.
It was addressed to Berry’s sister, and detailed grievances with relatives and the girls’ mother.
“Betrayed, bullied, and miscast I set out to leave with the kids,” the letter said. “But I thought it better for myself and kids to escape.”
Weir asked Berry if his claim about the suicide attempt was so he could explain the note.
Did the suicide attempt leave any marks, Weir asked Berry.
There were no marks, he replied.
Berry was asked by Weir why he didn’t throw out the note.
“I don’t know why,” Berry said.
The note blames his ex-wife Sarah Cotton and his parents for his troubles.
Weir said Berry takes no responsibility for his situation in the note.
Berry agreed, adding that he does take responsibility “in my heart and my mind.”
Weir also suggested to Berry that there was no loan shark named Paul nor the two men who came to collect money owed.
Berry testified earlier that he gave $10,000 in the summer of 2017 to one of the men who came to his apartment to collect money.
“I’m going to suggest to you that you did not give $10,000 to the henchmen … because there are no henchmen and there is no Paul,” Weir said.
Berry replied said it wasn’t true.
The Crown’s theory is that Berry killed the girls and then tried to kill himself, but Berry says he owed thousands of dollars to the loan shark named Paul and was attacked in his apartment.
Berry told his jury trial that Paul was someone who was in his 30s when he first got to know him about 20 years ago, tall, Chinese, wore collared shirts, sounded Canadian, had a few girlfriends and dated someone who worked for the airline Cathay Pacific.
Berry said he didn’t know Paul’s last name.
Weir asked Berry whether he was frightened or worried about the safety of his daughters following the first visit of the loan collectors in mid-March 2017.
“Did it occur to you that your daughters should have zero part of this?” Weir asked Berry.
“I thought it would be no big deal,” he said. “I had my head I don’t know where.”
“In hindsight, that was potentially very, very dangerous,” Weir said.
“Yes,” Berry agreed.
His daughters were in the apartment watching a movie while the two men hid a bag in his closet, he testified.
Berry has said he thought the bag contained drugs.
The same two men came to his apartment at least five times, the trial heard.
Weir asked if Berry thought the request by Paul for a set of his apartment keys was “strange.”
Berry said it was.
“Did you think to how this would affect the safety of the girls?” Weir asked.
“No,” Berry said. “I’m just not that bright.”
Berry’s testimony is expected to last through Wednesday.
The Canadian Press