Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Evil' dad jailed for life for battering daughter (6) to death in fit of temper

Emily Pennink in London

Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30

Ellie Butler with her mother Jennie Gray.
Ellie Butler with her mother Jennie Gray.
Ben Butler

A FATHER described as "evil" was jailed for life with a minimum term of at least 23 years for killing his six-year-old daughter in a fit of rage - 11 months after winning her back in a high-profile custody battle.

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Jobless Ben Butler (36), right, inflicted horrific head injuries on little Ellie while left home alone to look after her and her younger sibling in October 2013.

He was found guilty of murder and child cruelty following a trial at the Old Bailey in London.

His partner, Jennie Gray (36), was convicted of child cruelty, having already admitted perverting the course of justice. The couple angrily protested their innocence when jurors returned their verdicts on the third day of deliberations.

Gray told them they had made a "big mistake", while Butler shouted angrily that he would "fight forever" and appeal against their decision.

Butler was sentenced to five years for child cruelty, to run concurrently, and Gray was jailed for 42 months.

The trial heard that Butler battered his daughter to death at the family home in Sutton, south London, in a momentary but volcanic loss of temper.

He put off dialling 999 for two hours and instead summoned Gray back from work in the City of London.

The pair concocted an elaborate plot to destroy evidence and stage the scene of an accidental fall before alerting the ambulance service.

The judge told Gray: "You played your full part in the grotesque charade that was the 999 call whilst subjecting your dead daughter to the indignity of pointless CPR when you knew full well she had been dead for two hours."

Irish Independent

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