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Oak Bay father who killed his two young daughters to be sentenced

Last Updated Dec 19, 2019 at 6:21 am PDT

Andrew Berry, centre, appears in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. A multi-day sentencing hearing begins in Victoria for Andrew Berry, the father found guilty of the Christmas Day slayings of his two young daughters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Felicity Don

A man from suburban Victoria is expected to be sentenced on Thursday after he killed his two young daughters in 2017

Crown says Andrew Berry should remain behind bars for at least 21 years

The Oak Bay father's defense says he should be eligible for parole after 15 years

VICTORIA — A father convicted of murdering his two daughters on Christmas Day in 2017 is scheduled to be sentenced by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Victoria on Thursday.

A jury found Andrew Berry guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in September.

The bodies of four-year-old Aubrey and six-year-old Chloe were found in Berry’s Oak Bay apartment.

Sarah Cotton, the mother of the girls, told a sentencing hearing this week that the children were so full of love and her life has become a nightmare of profound pain and sadness since their deaths.

A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence but the judge still needs to set parole eligibility of between 10 and 25 years and determine if the sentences will be served at the same time or consecutively.

The Crown told Justice Miriam Gropper during a sentencing hearing that Berry should serve a concurrent sentence of 21 to 24 years before being eligible for parole, while defence lawyer Kevin McCullough recommended a sentence of between 15 and 20 years.

The trial heard each girl had been stabbed dozens of times and Berry was found naked and unconscious in the bathtub suffering from stab wounds to his neck and throat.

Berry claimed at his trial that he and the girls were attacked because he owned money to a loan shark. His lawyer told the sentencing hearing that Berry denies killing the girls.

The Crown told jurors the motive was anger towards Berry’s ex-partner, who he thought was going to end their joint custody agreement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2019.