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Father faces daughter murder trial

Published 05/05/2015

Ben Butler is going on trial at the Old Bailey
Ben Butler is going on trial at the Old Bailey

A father is due to go on trial today charged with murdering his six-year-old daughter.

Ellie Butler died from head injuries at her home in Westover Close, Sutton, south west London, on October 28 2013.

Ben Butler, 35, has denied murdering the little girl and child cruelty.

His wife Jennie Gray, 35, also faces the charge of cruelty which states the pair "wilfully assaulted, ill treated or neglected Ellie Butler in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health as a result of a fractured scapula".

Gray is further charged with perverting the course of justice between October 27 and 30 2013.

She was accused of washing the shirt she had been wearing on the day of Ellie's death and then lying by saying the one she had been wearing was pink or white and had been left on her bed or hanging on a clothes rack.

And she was not truthful when she told police she returned home that day "for reasons unconnected with concerns for the welfare of Ellie" and that she had "no concerns for Ellie's welfare until immediately after the police were called", according to the charge.

Gray, who is on bail, denies all the charges against her.

The Old Bailey trial is being heard by senior judge Mrs Justice Cox and is scheduled to go on until the end of July.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC is not expected to open the case until later this week.

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