The court also found Innes guilty of sexually assaulting the toddler and raping a 7-year-old girl between February 20 and March 5, 2021.
Testimony from the rape victim revealed that Innes used a hammer to hit Bennelyn several times on the head before stabbing her with a long knife. He strangled Jellica two days later. DNA evidence from items found at the crime scene, including handcuffs and clothing, was also presented during the trial.
“These are among the very worst crimes which have come before the High Court of Justiciary,” Lord John Beckett, judge of the Supreme Court, said at the conclusion of the five-day trial.
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During the hearing, Innes admitted to killing the mother and child but denied any premeditation and lodged a special defense of diminished responsibility. Innes changed his story several times throughout the trial and at one point claimed he killed her “because I was insane, as a result of the steroids.”
A forensic psychiatrist who met with Innes several times and wrote a report for the Crown on his condition testified during the trial that he did not believe Innes was impaired at the time of the killings.
He now faces a mandatory life sentence for each of the murders and will be considered for release on parole after serving a minimum of 36 years.
Innes met Bennylyn through a dating site and visited her in Kingswood, Bristol, on Feb. 18, 2021.
He then drove her and her daughter to his home in Dundee, a distance of 440 miles.
Shela, Bennylyn’s sister, told BBC that she met Innes via a video call as he was driving Bennylyn and Jellica to his home in Scotland. Shela reached out to Innes online after not hearing from her sister for several days. He reassured her that Bennylyn and Jellica were safe and had just brought them to Glasgow to meet someone.
Bennylyn and Jellica were reported missing on March 1, 2021, following a missed appointment. Local authorities launched a search two days later. The investigation eventually led the officers to Innes’ home.
When asked where Bennylyn was, Innes responded with: “I killed her, she’s under the floor. We got into a fight and I killed her.”
According to Detective Chief Inspector Graham Smith of the Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, he and his colleagues have never seen Andrew Innes’ “level of depravity” in his nearly 30 years of service.
“Not only did he callously take the life of a young mother and an innocent child, he then sought to escape justice by burying their bodies beneath his kitchen floor,” he was quoted as saying. “He showed no regard for human life, or for the suffering that he has brought to their loved ones.”
Burke’s family, who flew from the Philippines to attend the trial, said in a statement that the jury’s guilty verdict “provides some comfort to our family and friends and brings justice for Bennylyn and Jellica.”
“A big part of our family has been torn from us,” the statement read. “We shall never see Bennylyn and Jellica again. We shall never know our beloved Jellica or ever see her grow up.”
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