Man admitted to police officer that he killed Bennylyn Burke, trial told

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A man confessed to a police officer searching for a missing woman and her child that he killed the 25-year-old, a court has heard.

Andrew Innes was accused at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday of murdering Bennylyn Burke and Jellica Burke, two, at a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee, between February 20 and March 5 2021.

The court heard Pc Gavin Burns was sent to the house after the pair had been reported missing and Innes, 52, told him: “I killed her (Bennylyn). She’s under the floor. We got into a fight and I killed her.”

The trial was told Innes admits killing the pair, but denies murdering them and has lodged a special defence to the murder charges of absence of responsibility and diminished responsibility.

Bennylyn Burke death
Bennylyn Burke and her daughter Jellica were murdered by Andrew Innes, it is alleged (Police Scotland/PA)

He met Ms Burke, originally from the Philippines, online in 2015 and they were married in 2018.

Mr Burke told the court their relationship encountered difficulty and there was a court order stipulating when he could see Jellica.

When she went missing, and after fruitless attempts to contact her, he alerted the authorities.

Bennylyn Burke missing
Police forensics officers hunting for evidence outside the house in Dundee (Andrew Milligan/PA)

At the address was the car and a small skip with debris and mattresses inside, Pc Burns, speaking via a remote link, told Advocate Depute Alex Prentice.

After speaking to Innes on the doorstep, they entered the home which Pc Burns told the court was in a “state of disarray” and looked as if it was being renovated.

In the kitchen, under which the bodies of Ms Burke and Jellica would later be discovered, the police officer said he saw concrete.

Andrew Innes court case
Lexington Burke was the father of Jellica Burke (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The court was told Innes started to ask what the jail term for murder was but then said: “It wasn’t pre-meditated.”

In the joint minutes, a document which states agreed facts in the case, it was revealed Innes met the woman on an online dating app in 2021 and drove her from Bristol to Dundee on February 18 that year.

The document states he stabbed Ms Burke and hit her head with a knife handle and a hammer.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms Burke, who weighed 5st 7lb, suffered a single stab wound to her chest, as well as head injuries, with pathologists having said the combined effects of internal bleeding and the injuries to her head caused her death.

The toddler was asphyxiated by means unknown, the court was told, with a post-mortem examination revealing that there had been pressure on the girl’s mouth and neck.

The court was told Innes wrapped a rubble bag, blanket and tarpaulin around the head of Ms Burke and hid her beneath the kitchen floor.

The court was told he also put the body of the two-year-old under the floor.

Innes is also charged with sexually abusing the toddler and raping a seven-year-old girl. He denies all the charges against him.

Innes, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2021, was also diagnosed with having autism spectrum disorder.

The trial, before judge Lord Beckett, continues.

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