Ellie Butler – what happened and what can we learn?

Posted on June 28, 2016

There have been numerous news reports recently about the murder of 5 year old Ellie Butler.

In 2008 Ellie was taken in to Local Authority care after suffering a serious injury and her father being arrested on suspicion of Grievous Bodily Harm. However, in June 2010 her father’s conviction was quashed and throughout 2011 and 2012 Ellie’s parents launched a battle to regain custody of her. This led to Ellie returning home to her parents in November 2012.

Unfortunately, in October 2013 Ellie was found dead in her home, her father was later arrested for murder. His trial begun on the 19th of April 2016 and on the 21st of June 2016 he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23 years.

Another upsetting factor in this case is the apparent psychological abuse suffered by Ellie’s mother who remained devoted and supportive of Ellie’s father despite knowing what he had done. There was very strong evidence of both physical and mental abuse. Subsequently, Ellie’s mother was sentenced to 42 months for covering up the killing and child cruelty.

If you are concerned about the risks of abuse there are options available to ensure protection. In the first instance it is imperative to contact the police and social services to report your concerns. There are also legal options to prevent domestic violence; such as a non-molestation order can ensure the safety of yourself and/or your children, and an occupation order can ensure your right to live in and protection within your home. If you have any concerns or questions regarding these issues Jefferies can offer confidential and practical advice.

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