VANCOUVER - The prosecution got the opportunity Friday to challenge the story of a Vancouver Island father who denies killing his two young girls.
Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry on Christmas Day 2017.
The girls were found in their rooms at Berry's Victoria-area apartment and he was found naked and injured in the bathtub.
The Crown's theory is that Berry killed the girls and then tried to kill himself, but Berry has testified he owed thousands of dollars to a loan shark named Paul and was attacked in his apartment. When he came to, he said he found his daughter's dead.
Prosecutor Patrick Weir had rapid-fire questions about Paul in a cross-examination that was fiery at times.
Weir questioned Berry for more details about the loan shark.
"It wasn’t a friendship. It was a transaction," Berry answered.
Weir asked what else Berry knew about the man that he owed $25,000.
Berry said Paul was in his 30s when Berry first got to know him about 20 years ago, tall, Chinese, wore collared shirts, sounded Canadian, had a few girlfriends and dated someone who worked for the airline Cathay Pacific.
Berry told his jury trial he didn't know Paul's last name.
In January 2017, Berry said he took a loan of $10,000 from Paul who he had met at River Rock Casino at an interest rate of $2,000 a week.
He testified that he decided to quit his job at BC Ferries so he could cash his pension and pay Paul the loan. He said Paul agreed to the proposal on the condition that he could store a bag in Berry's apartment.
Paul later demanded a set of keys to his apartment, Berry said.
Weir said nothing about the story made sense.
"Can you think of any reason why Paul who you were storing a bag for ... had a key to your apartment, would do this?" Weir asked.
"None of this makes sense," Berry answered. "I don’t know what his possible motivations could be."
Weir asked Berry about his time in the hospital after his daughter's death and why he felt he was under arrest.
"Didn’t you want to say, 'you’ve got it all wrong?'" Weir asked.
"I needed a lawyer," Berry said. "I was under arrest and that’s just what it felt like."
The trial has already heard that police found a note at the crime scene. It was written by Berry, addressed to his sister, and detailed grievances with relatives and the girls' mother.
"Betrayed, bullied, and miscast I set out to leave with the kids," the letter read. "But I thought it better for myself and kids to escape."
The note contained Berry's passwords and banking information.
But Berry has testified that the note was old. He had written it a month earlier when he tried to kill himself, but survived.