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Troon Avenue killer’s ‘apocalyptic rage’ before stabbing Bennylyn with Samurai sword

Andrew Innes denies murdering Bennylyn and Jellica Burke. Image: DC Thomson.
Andrew Innes denies murdering Bennylyn and Jellica Burke. Image: DC Thomson.

Murder accused Andrew Innes went into an “apocalyptic” rage and attacked Bennylyn Burke with a lump hammer, before stabbing her with a Samurai sword.

On the third day of the Troon Avenue murder trial, Aberdeen University graduate Innes took the stand to give evidence in his own defence.

He admits killing Mrs Burke and her daughter but denies murdering them.

The 52-year-old said he killed Mrs Burke after she appeared to transform into a “hybrid” of his estranged wife and a woman he met at a rope bondage club.

The father-of-three said he was “not wired up the same way as other people” because of autism and compared himself to Sheldon Cooper from TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

Driven to Dundee

He told jurors he had brought Mrs Burke and her daughter to Dundee after picking them up from their home in Bristol.

He said they spent Saturday February 20, out in Dundee and visited Camperdown Park and the V&A, although it was closed to the public for Covid reasons.

Innes said he intended to drive back to Bristol the following day.

He took two doses of steroid medication before and after midnight.

He attacked and killed Mrs Burke later that morning.

On the morning of February 21 2021, after they spent a weekend of sightseeing, he went to B&Q and bought a lump hammer.

When he returned home, he saw Mrs Burke standing by the kitchen sink.

“She was standing where my wife stood so many times before,” he said.

“It was as if she was standing in the room.”

Bennylyn and Jellica Burke.

Innes told the jury he started thinking about how his marriage ended and the “hateful” behaviour of his partner, who cut long her long dark hair and dyed it blonde.

He said it was done “almost deliberately to annoy me. That was just nasty.”

He told the court of a woman he had met at a rope bondage club in Japan who had dumped him by text “in the most horrible way”.

“I was getting angry,” he said.

“The expression ‘my blood was boiling’ was quite accurate.

“I started to think some crazy things.

“I started to think – and I know this is insane – that the person standing in front of me didn’t just look like both of these women but she somehow was both of these people in a kind of hybrid.”

Andrew Innes arrives at the High Court in Edinburgh. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

He compared his vision to mythical dragons, unicorns and fairies.

“I was apocalyptically angry,” he said.

“I attacked her. I picked the hammer up and hit her over the head.”

He said: “There are so many weapons in my house.

“I thought ‘I’ll go and get my Samarui sword’.

“She chased after me. I remember the blade going in once.

“I have a recollection of standing in the corridor with the sword and blood dripping off it.”

Innes said although his memories were “fragmented” he remembered beating her with the hammer as she lay on the living room floor “until she stopped moving.”

Killed Jellica

Asked by defence advocate Brian McConnachie what happened to Jellica, Innes said he was dismantling a power transformer when the two-year-old came into his room.

“If she had touched that, she would have exploded.

“I had to stop her.

“Her main topic of conversation was to be with her mum.

“It seemed logical to me to put her with her mum, because that is what she asked for.”

He said: “I had to get her out of my life so it seems like the most logical thing to do.

“I was out of my mind.”

Bennylyn Burke with her two-year-old Jellica.

Innes said that he killed Jellica two or three days after her mother’s death.

He told the court: “I was thinking about all the creatures that had died to sustain my life.

“There must have been millions.

“It seemed a bit odd to me that her life would be any more valuable than those creatures.”

‘Christian burial’ claim

The killer insisted he gave his victims a “Christian” burial.

When prosecutor Alex Prentice suggested Innes “went to great lengths to hide their bodies”, he said he took exception to the word “hide”.

“I buried their bodies because that’s what you do with dead people,” said Innes.

He said if he wanted to conceal them, he would have “dug a mine shaft about 20-feet deep”.

“I dug them a respectable grave and I gave them a Christian burial.”

Tributes left at Troon Avenue, where the mother and daughter were killed.

Mr Prentice said: “What is so respectful about concealing their bodies under a kitchen in a house in Dundee?”

Innes said he did not agree with the word “conceal”.

Marriage break-up

The court heard Innes had previously worked in Tokyo as a software engineer and had been in the process of setting up a company when he met Mrs Burke.

He contacted her via a dating site Filipino Cupid and drove to see her in Bristol in February 2021.

“She invited me down for a coffee, but I upsold her to a picnic,” he said.

“I didn’t want to drive all that way for a coffee.”

Andrew Innes. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

Innes said he was attracted to Asian women and preferred “ultra-feminine” women with long black hair, with a woman from Thailand called his “ideal partner”.

He said he had married a Japanese woman and had lived there with his children but returned to Scotland after he had been “compelled” to leave Japan.

During the “difficult” marriage, he said she threatened to leave him because she did not like living in Scotland.

Bennylyn Burke.
Bennylyn Burke.

She said they had gone to live in California but after spending three years there, she issued him with a “ransom letter” detailing her demands for her to stay with him.

He said: “I spoiled her. She was not happy.

“She said she wanted a car with six seats and holidays in Japan each year.

“She said that if I didn’t get her these things she would leave me and I would never see my daughter again.

Woman from rope bondage club

He said he got a job in Japan and met another woman in a rope bondage club.

He started to have an affair with her and she agreed to move in with him but the relationship ended.

“She left me in the most horrible way.

“She agreed to marry me. She helped me look for some place to live in.

“She helped me with the paperwork.

“The day I moved into the apartment she dumped me by text for some other guy I hadn’t heard about before.”

The charges

Innes has lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility.

He also faces allegations he attempted to defeat the ends of justice in multiple ways, including burying the bodies of Mrs Burke and Jellica under his kitchen floor.

He denies he raped and sexually assaulted another child at his Troon Avenue home in 2021.

At the end of the Crown’s case, prosecutor Alex Prentice KC formally withdrew allegations Innes abducted the primary school-age child and assaulted her by striking her on the head with a door.

Alex Prentice KC leaves court during the trial of Andrew Innes. Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

An allegation Innes was planning to flee his Dundee home was also withdrawn.

Aberdeen University graduate Innes was formally acquitted of each of those charges.

The trial before Lord Beckett continues.