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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Ben Butler has been sentenced after being found guilty of murder in #Sutton

A father from Sutton who murdered his daughter, 11 months after a high-profile custody battle returned her to his care, has been jailed.

Ben Butler inflicted "catastrophic head injuries" on six year old Ellie while looking after her at their home in Westover Close, in October 2013.

36-year-old Butler, and Ellie’s mother, Jennie Gray, were both found guilty of child cruelty.

He’s been sentenced to a minimum of 23 years and Gray will go to prison for 42 months after admitting perverting the course of justice.

CCTV at the time showed Ellie's mother, who worked opposite the Old Bailey, receiving a phone call from Butler on the day Ellie died, and then rushing home to Sutton.

This was the 999 call made by Ellie's parents, who sent their other child to find her body, up to 2 hours after she had died ( some listeners may find it distressing).

On the day of the murder, Gray, a graphic designer, was at work in the City of London when Butler caused the catastrophic injuries to Ellie at their family home.

At 12:46pm, following a call and text messages from Butler, she immediately left her office and rushed home in a taxi.

At the address, the pair proceeded to cover up Ellie’s murder by staging a scene to make it look like Ellie had fallen off a small chair.

Butler dumped clothing, letters and diary entries in communal bins away from their house. Gray changed and washed the shirt she had been wearing when she got home.

At 2:46pm, some two hours after Gray left her office, the couple made a dramatic 999 call, claiming they had found Ellie unconscious on the floor of her bedroom.

They performed CPR as directed by the emergency services call handler. Paramedics arrived and Ellie was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, where she was pronounced dead at 4.01pm.

At the hospital, Ellie was found to have no open wounds but a large soft swelling at the back of her head.

Butler and Gray were spoken to by medics and subsequently a detective at the hospital, where they repeated the version of events they had previously given.

Butler was arrested on suspicion of murder at the hospital later that evening.

Gray was interviewed the following day as a significant witness where she lied, saying she had left work early because it was quiet and when she got home she heard Ellie was playing in her room.

Gray explained in detail how she and Butler found Ellie on the floor of her room after she failed to respond to their calls to come down and eat cake.

A murder investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC), which established that Gray’s version of events leading to her leaving work were untrue.

Investigating officers seized and watched nearly 150 hours of CCTV, which included footage of Gray frantically leaving her office and flagging down a taxi. Gray was arrested in November 2013.

Both Butler and Gray made no comment during their police interviews but admitted in court to destroying evidence and lying to police.

Both cited Butler’s previous conviction for assaulting Ellie as a baby in 2007, which was later overturned in the court of appeal, as the reason why they had lied.

Here's Jon Brown from the NSPCC.

posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 1:40 pm  

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