Accused in mum and girl's killing 'may have diminished responsibility'

Andrew Innes is accused of killing Bennylyn Burke and her daughter Jellica and hiding their bodies under a kitchen floor.

Man accused of killing Bennylyn Burke and daughter Jellica in Dundee may have ‘diminished responsibility’ Police Scotland

A man accused of murdering a mother and her two-year-old daughter could have acted with diminished responsibility, his legal team has claimed.

Andrew Innes allegedly killed Bennylyn Burke, 25, and her child Jellica Burke at a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee, between February 20 and March 5, 2021.

Prosecutors claim the 51-year-old then hid the bodies under the kitchen floor of the property with a further accusation that he also raped a seven-year-old girl.

A previous hearing was told a number of psychiatric and psychological investigations had been carried out on Innes since the previous hearing last September.

Troon Avenue, Dundee.STV News

The case called on Wednesday at the High Court in Glasgow.

The hearing was told by Brian McConnachie that the trial judge can decide to remove the defence that Innes did not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions due to a mental disorder.

The defence advocate told the hearing: “The view is that you should just effectively see how the evidence unfolds… once the evidence is heard.”

Judge Lord Beckett later asked if there was an expectation there would be a basis for diminished responsibility.

Bennylyn Burke, 25, was found dead at the house on Troon Avenue, Dundee.Facebook

Mr McConnachie replied: “Depending on how the evidence comes out.

“On paper there could be evidence or there could be a basis for responsibility.”

The judge asked prosecutor Alex Prentice KC for his response.

He said: “The Crown say there is not a proper basis for it.”

Lord Beckett continued the matter to trial due to begin on January 30 next year in Edinburgh.

Mr Prentice told a hearing that he anticipated calling around 14 witnesses for a trial which could last eight days.

It is claimed Innes stabbed Bennylyn on the body with a knife as well as repeatedly striking her on the head with a hammer and the handle of the blade.

The indictment alleges Innes murdered her two-year-old daughter Jellica and that he did “asphyxiate her by means unknown”.

Innes then faces a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

This includes a claim that he did wrap the body of Bennylyn in a rubble bag, blanket and tarpaulin and then concealed the corpse in concrete under the kitchen floor at the Troon Avenue property.

Jellica’s body is also said to have been hidden there.

The charge also features a claim that Innes told police investigating Bennylyn’s whereabouts that he had driven her, Jellica and another child to the Old Inns Cafe in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire on February 28.

He is said to have told the officers he left them with an “unknown male” and that he had no contact with them afterwards.

Innes also allegedly pretended to a young girl that Bennylyn was in hospital and Jellica was in Bristol.

Innes is separately accused of assaulting, raping and attempting to rape that same child as well detaining her against her will at the house in Dundee.

This is also said to have happened between the same dates of the alleged murders.

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