Andrew Innes: Double murder suspect 'killed toddler during game of hide and seek', court hears

A double murder suspect allegedly killed a toddler during a game of hide and seek at a house in Dundee, a court has heard.

Warning: This story contains graphic content and details of alleged sexual abuse

In video evidence shown to jurors, a primary school-aged child claimed they never saw two-year-old Jellica Burke again after the game with 52-year-old Andrew Innes.

Innes denies murdering Jellica and her mother Bennylyn Burke, 25, and has instead lodged a special defence of diminished responsibility.

Innes is currently on trial for murder at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The child giving evidence, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed Innes "pretended" Jellica was hiding but had "killed" her.

The child believed the alleged killing happened in the bathroom as Innes shut her out of the room.

A joint minute of agreed evidence between prosecutors and the defence team was read out to a jury at the start of the trial.

It was accepted that Innes stabbed Ms Burke on the body with a knife as well as repeatedly striking her on the head with a hammer and the handle of the blade.

It was also accepted that Innes asphyxiated Jellica before burying both bodies under the kitchen floor of his property.

Innes denies further charges of abducting and raping the primary school-aged child and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

Read more:
Andrew Innes admits killing Bennylyn and Jellica Burke but denies murder
Andrew Innes told police officer: "She's under the floor"

The court was closed to the public while video evidence recorded with the alleged rape victim was played to the jury.

The child described sexual acts they reportedly had been told to carry out by Innes and claimed they were paid money after each alleged assault.

The child told the court that Innes even presented them with a purse to keep their 'savings' in. They claimed that Innes also used handcuffs on them, describing that it felt "terrible".

Forensic scientist Barry Mitchell later took to the stand and said that Innes's DNA was found on the child's pyjama bottoms.

He said the child and Ms Burke's DNA were also found on Innes's dressing gown.

All of the alleged incidents are said to have taken place at Innes's house in Troon Avenue, Dundee, between 20 February and 5 March 2021.

Earlier this week, the court heard that Mrs Burke, originally from the Philippines, had lived in Bristol after marrying Lexington Burke, 65, in August 2019. Their relationship later broke down.

Ms Burke and Innes were then said to have met via an online dating site. Innes reportedly confirmed to police that Ms Burke had travelled from Bristol to Dundee with him.

While giving evidence, PC Gavin Burns, 33, told the court that Innes admitted killing Ms Burke when Police Scotland officers visited his home as part of a high-risk missing persons inquiry.

After again being challenged by PC Burns on Ms Burke's whereabouts, Innes reportedly confessed: "I killed her, she's under the floor. We got into a fight and I killed her."

He then reportedly queried what the jail sentence was for murder, before allegedly adding: "It wasn't premeditated."

The trial, before Lord Beckett, continues.