Man admits killing mother and toddler but denies their murder

Andrew Innes, 52, is accused of the murder of Bennylyn Burke and her daughter, Jellica, at a house in Dundee in 2021.

31 January 2023

A man has admitted killing a mother and her two-year-old daughter but denies murdering them.

Andrew Innes is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh accused of murdering Bennylyn Burke, 25, and Jellica Burke, at a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee, between February 20 and March 5 2021.

The court heard agreed evidence that the 52-year-old, who has lodged a special defence to the murder charges of absence of responsibility and diminished responsibility, was responsible for their deaths.

In the joint minutes of agreed evidence it was revealed he met Ms Burke on an online dating app, and drove her from Bristol to Dundee on February 18 2021.

Bennylyn Burke missing
Police forensics officers hunting for evidence outside the house in Dundee (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The 15-strong jury also heard Innes stabbed Ms Burke and hit her head with a knife handle and a hammer.

A post-mortem examination revealed the woman, who weighed 5st 7lb, suffered a single stab wound to her chest which was 158 mm deep, as well as head injuries, with pathologists finding the combined effects of internal bleeding and the injuries to her head caused her death.

The toddler was asphyxiated by means unknown, the court was told, with a post-mortem examination revealing that there had been pressure on the girl’s mouth and neck.

The court was told Innes wrapped a rubble bag, blanket and tarpaulin around the head of Ms Burke and hid her beneath the kitchen floor.

The court was told he also put the body of the two-year-old under the floor.

The accused, represented by Brian McConnachie KC, has also been charged with raping and assaulting a seven-year-old girl.

He denies all the charges against him.

In the joint minutes read to the jury, they were told a swab of the girl revealed she had chlamydia trachiotimus and in a separate urine test of the accused, he also tested positive for the infection.

Innes, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2021, was also diagnosed with having autism spectrum disorder.

Judge Lord Beckett told the jury that the trial, prosecuted by Alex Prentice KC, was expected to last into next week.

And he warned them: “From this moment until the end of the trial, you must not make any outside investigations or inquires of your own about this case, the people involved in it, or any issue it raises.”

The trial continues.

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