Man denies murdering Bennylyn Burke and her young daughter

A 51-year-old man is to stand trial accused of murdering a mother and her two-year-old daughter from Kingswood.

Andrew Innes allegedly killed Bennylyn Burke, 25, and her child Jellica Burke at a house in Troon Avenue, Dundee between February 20 and March 5 2021. Prosecutors claim Innes hid the bodies under the kitchen floorboards of the property with a further accusation that he also raped a seven-year-old child, reports the Daily Record.

The South Gloucestershire mum and two children were last seen at their home in the Kingswood area on February 27 last year. Bennylyn was reported missing on March 1. The case was called on Tuesday (April 12) at the High Court in Glasgow.

Read more:Man charged with murder after Bennylyn Burke and daughter

Brian McConnachie, defending, told the hearing: “He pleads not guilty to this indictment.” The QC said the case was “complex and unusual”. A number of psychiatric and psychological investigations had been carried out on Innes since the previous hearing last September, he added.

Mr McConnachie: “The situation is that the necessary defence enquiries have each produced further enquiries that need to be carried out.” Innes was first arrested on March 6.

(Image: Handout)

The advocate and prosecutor Alex Prentice QC, however, both agreed a trial could be fixed. Lord Pentland fixed a trial date due to begin on January 30, 2023, in Edinburgh. The case will be held before Lord Beckett.

Read more: Bennylyn Burke murder investigation – Everything we know so far

Mr Prentice said he estimates calling around 14 witnesses for a trial that could last eight days. A subsequent hearing is due to take place before the trial in August this year.

Innes was not in court after having his attendance excused on Tuesday. The court also previously had to appoint a lawyer to act on his behalf.

It is claimed Innes stabbed Bennylyn with a knife as well as repeatedly striking her on the head with a hammer and the handle of the blade. The indictment alleges Innes murdered her two-year-old daughter Jellica and that he did “asphyxiate her by means unknown”.

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Innes then faces a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice. This includes a claim that he wrapped the body of Bennylyn in a rubble bag, blanket and tarpaulin and then concealed the corpse in concrete under the kitchen floor at the Troon Avenue property. Jellica’s body is also said to have been hidden there.

The charge also features a claim Innes told police investigating Bennylyn’s whereabouts that he had driven her, Jellica and another child to the Old Inns Cafe in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire on February 28. He is said to have told the officers he left them with an “unknown male” and that he had no contact with them afterwards.

Innes is separately accused of assaulting, raping and attempting to rape a seven-year-old child – who was traced by police – as well as detaining her against her will at the house in Dundee. This is also said to have happened between the same dates as the alleged murders.

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