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Murder accused tells jury he was ‘apocalyptically angry’ when he killed woman

Andrew Innes, 52, admits killing Bennylyn Burke, 25, and her daughter Jellica, two, but denies murdering them.

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Andrew Innes

A man has told how he was “apocalyptically angry” as he used a hammer to kill a woman he described as looking like a hybrid between his wife and a jilted lover.

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

The 52-year-old, who denies all charges but has admitted killing the pair and lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility, told the jury of the moment he used a hammer to kill Ms Burke on February 21.

He said that from the neck down, Ms Burke reminded him of his wife. From the head up, she looked like another woman he started an affair with after meeting her in a Japanese rope bondage club, he said.

Bennylyn and Jellica Burke
Innes denies the murder of Bennylyn Burke, 25, and her two-year-old daughter Jellica (Police Scotland/PA)

He told the jury: “The person standing in front of me didn’t just look like both of these people but actually, somehow, was both of these people in some kind of hybrid.”

He said that as Ms Burke stood in his kitchen preparing food: “I thought of all the nasty things my wife had done to me and I got angry, the way she treated me.

“I was furious, I started to think some crazy things.”

Innes, who told the court he tried to castrate himself using a cable tie, said he hit Ms Burke on the back of the head and then went to get his samurai sword with which she was later stabbed.

“I remember the blade going in once,” the software engineer said.

“She was lying on the floor and I was just hitting her until she stopped moving.”

Two to three days later, Innes said, Jellica was killed. “It seemed logical to me to put her with her mum,” Innes told the court. “That’s what she asked for so I put her with her mum.”

Jellica Burke
Jellica Burke was killed days after her mother (Police Scotland/PA)

Innes, who told the court he is hypersexual, was asked in cross-examination by advocate depute Alex Prentice KC about where he put the bodies.

He replied: “I dug them a respectable grave and gave them a Christian burial and then replaced the floor. That’s all I did.”

He said he had planned to bury them at sea, as he is an environmentalist, but instead put them under his kitchen floor because he was refurbishing the room.

Their bodies were discovered by police under the floor after a week of excavation works.

The court has been told Innes suffers from Crohn’s disease, and just before the killing he was admitted to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and was put on a course of medication which included steroids.

When asked why he killed, he said: “Because I was insane, as a result of the steroids.”

He told Mr Prentice that if he wanted to hide the bodies, he would have gone to much greater lengths.

Bodies discovered
The mother and daughter were found buried under the kitchen floor of the property (PA)

Meanwhile, the court was told on Thursday that charges of abducting and assaulting a girl in the house at the time of the incident have been dropped, as has part of another charge which said he wanted to flee with a girl.

Innes denies murdering Ms Burke and Jellica, sexually assaulting Jellica, and raping another child.

The child, he said, was not telling the truth about what happened to her.

In his cross-examination, he told Mr Prentice: “Some of her testimony simply doesn’t add up.”

Innes, who graduated from Aberdeen University in 1992 with a degree in computer science, went on to tell the jury that it made no sense for a sock to be used to cover her mouth when there was “hundreds of other items more suitable”, including sex toys.

“If I wanted to gag that child I would have used an actual gag,” he said.

Mr Prentice told the jury that Innes made online searches for chloroform and what it was used for on February 15, and on February 23 he looked up “how many murders in Scotland per year”.

Innes has also denied defeating the ends of justice.

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

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