This post draws together some commentary and explanation about the Ellie Butler case, for those who are trying to get to grips with it. It is not complete – we will add to it as time goes on.
A summary of the background :
Ellie Butler suffered injuries when she was a baby. Initially her Father, Ben Butler was convicted of having caused those injuries, and the Family Court adopted the same position. But the Father successfully appealed his conviction on the basis of new medical evidence. This led eventually to an application being made to the family court to look again at the findings made that the injuries had been caused by Ben Butler. The evidence was reheard and this time the court concluded that Ben Butler was NOT responsible for those injuries. In due course Ellie was returned to the care of her parents. Within a year she was dead. In June 2016 her Father was convicted of her murder, her mother of offences associated with her death (child cruelty and perverting the course of justice). Understandably, the case has led many to ask how Ellie could have been returned to the care of her parents, what went wrong and how we might prevent similar mistakes being made in other cases.
Key documents :
Sarah Phillimore’s explanation of the family court fact finding process on Child Protection Resource : What happens when a child gets hurt and we don’t know who did it?
The Serious Case Review into Ellie’s death
Our collaborative blog post discussing some of the main questions that arise from the Serious Case Review : Ellie Butler – drawing together some strands and discussion
Penelope Gibbs’ response to the “strands” discussion : Is the appeal system the only way judges’ mistakes can be addressed?
The judgments of the Family Court from 2012 are not available for publication in total, but see these two blogs on Pink Tape by Lucy Reed, which contains some extracts from them : What Price Transparency? and Ellie Butler murder – some of the things the press haven’t told you