Bennylyn Burke came at me with sushi knife, claims man accused of double murder

- Advertisement -

Andrew Innes told detectives the woman that he is accused of murdering and burying under the floor came at him with a sushi knife.

He also told the High Court in Edinburgh that he was unable to look after Bennylyn Burke’s “screaming” toddler daughter whom he is also accused of murdering.

Innes, 52, has admitted killing Ms Burke, 25, and her two-year-old daughter, Jellica, but denies murder, and has lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility.

The murders are said to have taken place at a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee, between February 20 and March 5 2021.

Bennylyn Burke death
The bodies of Bennylyn Burke and her daughter Jellica were found under the floor of a house in Dundee (Family handout/PA)

The officer said Innes replied: “Last Friday she came up. We were going to spend the weekend together.

“I saw she had been chatting to about 50 men on the phone. It was either Monday or Tuesday. It took me a while to get through the concrete.”

When Innes was asked where Jellica was, Dc Hardie told the court Innes responded: “Under the floor with mum. I couldn’t look after a child. The child was screaming.”

Bennylyn Burke missing
Police outside Innes’ home in Troon Avenue in Dundee (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“There was no premeditation. She came at me with a sushi knife.”

Detectives then learnt of an accusation of a sexual assault against a young girl in the property at the time, for which Innes was arrested and cautioned.

Dc Hardie told the court that Innes said: “I never touched the girl.”

Bennylyn Burke death
Andrew Innes is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering two-year-old Jellica Burke (Family handout/PA)

In a pre-recorded interview played to the court, the young girl said a game of hide-and-seek had started before Jellica was allegedly murdered, and when asked about the toddler’s death, the girl said: “I don’t know where, I just know looking in the bathroom and he (Innes) shut the door on me.

“Andrew shut the door at me so it must be in the bathroom.”

Innes is also accused of raping the girl and of sexually abusing Jellica.

The girl told the court that after she was sexually assaulted she would be paid, and referred to “jobs” during the interview played to the jury.

“The first job Jellica was there, Jellica was with me, then the rest of the jobs Jellica was dead,” she said.

The interviewer was told they both were given £2.10 after one incident.

The girl recalled the alleged assaults against her, and said Innes used handcuffs and put tape and a sock on her face.

“It felt terrible,” she said.

Barry Mitchell, a forensic scientist, told the jury that tests on items in the property had revealed traces of DNA belonging to Innes on Jellica.

Mr Mitchell also told the court that traces of DNA belonging to Innes and the toddler were found on a condom found in a bin within the detached property.

The jury heard evidence that DNA from the girl he is accused of raping – not Jellica – was found on what was described in the court as “black furry handcuffs”, and traces of saliva on a sock.

And Mr Mitchell said that Ms Burke’s DNA was found on a 1.5 kilo hammer found in the property.

Brian McConnachie KC, defending Innes, told the jury that there were many explanations as to how DNA could be deposited, which Mr Mitchell agreed with, including cross-contamination from touching other surfaces.

Mr McConnachie said it could not also be determined if they had been deposited at the same time or separately, as detecting a trace did not indicate when it happened.

And, the court heard, saliva could have been deposited on the sock if the child had touched it with hands with saliva on.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms Burke, who weighed 5st 7lb, suffered a single stab wound to her chest, as well as head injuries, with pathologists having said the combined effects of internal bleeding and the injuries to her head caused her death.

Jellica 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.

He also put the body of the two-year-old under the floor, the jury was told.

Innes denies all charges against him and the trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.