February 2023

Man jailed after killing mum and toddler, 2, and burying their bodies under kitchen floor

A killer who murdered a woman he met on a dating website and her two-year-old daughter before burying their bodies under his kitchen floor has been jailed for at least 36 years.  

Andrew Innes, 52, was ‘apocalyptically angry’ when he bludgeoned Bennylyn Burke, 25, with a hammer before stabbing her with a samurai sword.   

He killed her daughter, Jellica, three days later, during a game of hide and seek, after sexually abusing her and raping another girl found at his home in Dundee, Scotland, between February 20 and March 5, 2021.   

Innes was convicted of two counts of murder today after Judge Lord Beckett instructed jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh to return guilty verdicts, following a trial with some of the most harrowing evidence to be presented to a Scottish court.   

He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 36 years.

Innes denied murder but admitting killing Ms Burke and Jellica, claiming a defence of diminished responsibility.   

He told a police officer when he was arrested that Ms Burke was ‘under the kitchen floor’.   

And he gave a chilling explanation when asked about Jellica’s whereabouts: ‘Under the floor with mum.   

‘I couldn’t look after a child. The child was screaming.’ 

Their bodies were discovered on March 18, 2021, the court heard.  

Ms Burke’s relatives described Bennylyn as the ‘hope and light of the family’ and said they would be ‘forever haunted’ by the tragedy.  

Innes lured her to Scotland from Bristol, where she relocated from the Philippines, during the lockdown in 2021.  

Relatives travelled from the island nation to attend the trial, laying bare their grief in a victim impact statement: ‘A big part of our family has been torn from us. We shall never see Bennylyn and Jellica again. 

‘We shall never know our beloved Jellica or ever see her grow up.” 

‘But the jury’s guilty verdict for murder provides some comfort to our family and friends and brings justice for Bennylyn and Jellica.’  

They added: ‘Bennylyn had bright ideas and big dreams.  

‘She bravely left home to seek a better future in a country far away.

‘Instead, she found the worst cruelty we could ever imagine at the hands of someone she trusted.’

Innes sobbed as he gave evidence in the witness box, initially claiming he acted in self-defence after Ms Burke lunged at him with a sushi knife.   

But the court heard he rained blows on her head and stabbed her after claiming she reminded him of his estranged wife and jilted lover.   

The girl he raped said Innes used a hammer to kill Ms Burke.   

During a pre-recorded interview she described how Jellica died during a game of hide and seek but said she couldn’t save them because she ‘didn’t know what was happening.’  

Innes also claimed he had been hearing voices and was insane as a result of taking steroids prescribed for Crohn’s disease.   

However a psychiatrist told the court Innes was not impaired when he killed Ms Burke and Jellica, before hiding them under the kitchen of his home in Troon Avenue.  

Giving evidence, Innes told the court: ‘I dug them in a respectable grave and gave them a Christian burial then replaced the floor.  

‘That’s all I did,’ he said.