Murderer who buried mum and daughter under floor bids for freedom

Andrew Innes intends to appeal his conviction and sentence for murdering Bennylyn Burke and her daughter, Jellica.

Murderer Andrew Innes who killed mum and daughter in Dundee launches new bid for freedom STV News

A murderer who buried a mother and her daughter under his kitchen floor has launched a bid for freedom.

Andrew Innes was found guilty of murdering Bennylyn Burke, 25, and Jellica Burke, two, after a five-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this month.

The 52-year-old was also found guilty of sexually abusing the toddler and raping another child at his home on Troon Avenue in Dundee between February 20 and March 5, 2021.

During the trial, Innes admitted killing Bennylyn and Jellica but denied murder, lodging a special defence of lacking criminal responsibility and diminished responsibility.

But judge Lord Beckett told the jury there had been no evidence to show that Innes had been suffering from mental impairment.

As a result, he instructed them to find Innes guilty of murdering Bennylyn and Jellica. A jury found Innes guilty on all counts after deliberating for less than three hours.

Bennylyn Burke and her daughter, Jellica.STV News

Lord Beckett told Innes he must serve a minimum of 36 years in jail.

But Innes’ legal team have now told the court they intend to appeal against the conviction and the sentence.

A Scottish Court Service spokesman said: “The court has confirmed a notice of intention to appeal against conviction and sentence was lodged on February 17.”

Innes’ team now have just over two months to lodge their appeal and state their reasons for the move.

The court will then decide if there are sufficient grounds for an appeal hearing, which would then take place before three judges.

Ms Burke believed a brighter future lay ahead in Scotland for her and Jellica. Friends and family say all she wanted in life was “to love and to be loved”.

The 25-year-old believed such an opportunity for romance had arisen with a man from Dundee she met on an online dating forum tailored for the Filipino community.

But she was lured north from Somerset, in the south-west of England, under false pretences. The man she had been speaking to had no interest in forging a relationship with Bennylyn.

He was planning to kill her.

DCI Graham Smith, from Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “This is probably one of the most horrific cases that I and my team have been involved in and it’s to the credit of everyone involved – the commitment and the professionalism that they have shown to secure justice for Bennylyn and Jellica.

“The National Crime Agency described this as a once-in-a-generation crime and I sincerely hope that no-one else sees this ever again.”

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