July 18, 2019 10:04 pm
Updated: July 19, 2019 1:25 am

B.C. man accused of murdering daughters felt ‘helpless’ in custody dispute: Witness

The trial of Andrew Berry, accused of killing his two young daughters, heard more from the neighbor who testified she heard chilling noises the night the girls died. Rumina Daya reports.

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The trial of the Oak Bay father who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his two young daughters continued Thursday.

The woman who lived in the apartment above Andrew Berry was back on the stand, and is the only witness to testify that she heard unusual noises from Berry’s suite on Christmas Day, 2017.

READ MORE: ‘Loud crashing’: Neighbour of B.C. man accused of murdering daughters describes day of killings

For three months, defence has been trying to convince the jury that someone else stabbed six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey Berry more than 50 times, and then attacked Berry because he was in serious financial trouble and had a severe gambling addiction.

Berry’s neighbour, Vallie Travers, testified Wednesday about hearing loud banging and crashing noises, like bookcases coming down, in Berry’s apartment early Christmas morning.

WATCH: Trial of father accused of killing daughters hears from neighbour


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It was silent until around 5 p.m. when the crashing started again, Travers testified. 

Travers said she heard yelling and Berry’s voice crying out.

READ MORE: Witnesses offer new insight into custody battle, finances of B.C. man accused of murdering daughters

“It was like a wail… It sounded like there was anger in it directed toward the intruders,” she said.  

Who these “intruders” were, whether police, first responders or someone else, was not clarified in court on Thursday.

WATCH: Trial of father accused of killing daughters hears from former roommate

Crown’s theory is that Berry killed his kids and tried to commit suicide because he was in extreme debt, he couldn’t pay rent, he was depressed and hated his ex-partner Sarah Cotton, whom he believed was trying to take his kids from him. 

On Thursday, the court also heard from a second BC Ferries employee, who testified that Berry “loved his children.”

READ MORE: Defence for B.C. man accused of murdering daughters questions ex-partner’s reliability at trial

Berry was a business economist for the company for a decade before resigning in May 2017, seven months before the girls were killed. 

Darin Guenette told the jury that Berry was “frustrated” because he was “forced out of the house.”

WATCH: Neighbour of man accused of killing his children testifies at trial

He felt “helpless” because he had to pay his ex’s mortgage, cover his own rent and he wasn’t with the kids, Guenette told the court.

Guenette added that Berry told him his parents seemed to support Cotton more than him.

READ MORE: B.C. man accused of murdering daughters had good co-parenting relationship, argues defence

He further told the jury Berry was surprised that Cotton had called police and filed a complaint, alleging he assaulted her after throwing a belt at her during an argument. The belt did not hit Cotton.

The witness went on to testify that Berry was flabbergasted when Cotton made allegations that he had inappropriately touched Chloe and Aubrey. 

The allegations of assault and child abuse were investigated by police and the Ministry and all were deemed unfounded.  

Guenette testified Berry told him “she [Cotton] was trying to get him to give up.” 

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