Murder of Ellie Butler

Ellie Butler (30 December 2006 – 28 October 2013) was a British girl who was murdered by her father, Ben Butler, on 28 October 2013, at his home in Sutton, London.[1] In February 2007, he was arrested after Ellie Butler was taken to a hospital with head and retinal injuries.[2] Ellie then lived with her maternal grandparents until late 2012, when a judge, Justice Mary Hogg, ordered she be returned to her parents.[3][4][5]

Ellie Butler
Ellie Butler

(2006-12-30)30 December 2006
Died28 October 2013(2013-10-28) (aged 6)
Cause of deathBeating
Known forMurder victim

On 21 June 2016, Ben Butler was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey in London, and sentenced to a minimum of 23 years in prison.[6] His partner and Ellie's mother, Jennie Gray, was jailed for 42 months in connection with the case, after admitting perverting the course of justice, and both were found guilty of child cruelty.[6]

In the wake of Ellie's death and before the trial of Ben Butler and Jennie Gray, Sutton Safeguarding Children Board (SCCB) conducted a Serious Case Review into Ellie Butler's death. Beyond furnishing the Serious Case Review with necessary court orders, Hogg and other members of the judiciary refused to cooperate with it.[7]

The report of the Serious Case Review was published on 21 June 2016, immediately after Ben Butler's conviction.[8] Launching the Report, Christine Davies, the Chair of SCCB, said:

"The serious case review concluded that the Family Court’s decision to exonerate Ben Butler of harming Ellie in 2007, combined with its subsequent order for agencies to be sent a letter to that effect, had a very significant impact on how agencies could protect his children from that point in time onwards.
"Ben Butler’s exoneration and the Judge’s statement about him being a victim of a miscarriage of justice had the effect of handing all the power to the parents."[9]

Hogg refused to comment on the conviction outcome and retired from the High Court shortly afterwards.

See alsoEdit

  • Louise Porton – British woman who murdered her two children in 2018


  1. ^ Martin Evans. "Ellie Butler Murder". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Ellie Butler murder". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  3. ^ Diane Taylor. "Ellie Butler had begged not to be sent back to her parents, says aunt | Society". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Judge who returned Ellie Butler to father told she would have 'blood on her hands'". 21 June 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Murdered Ellie Butler's Family Demand Inquiry". 22 June 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Ben Butler jailed for murdering daughter Ellie after custody battle". BBC News. 21 June 2016.
  7. ^ Taylor, Diane; O'Carroll, Lisa (22 June 2016). "Ellie Butler judge 'took unwarranted steps' to reunite her with violent parents". Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  8. ^ "SCCB CHILD D OVERVIEW REPORT.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Report: Sutton Safeguarding Children Board - Ellie Butler Serious Case Review". Retrieved 10 April 2018.