Murdered Ellie Butler’s mother loses conviction challenge bid
Jennie Gray, who was jailed for child cruelty, had her case rejected by the Court of Appeal.
The mother of Ellie Butler – the six-year-old murdered by her father – has lost a bid to challenge her conviction.
Ben Butler was convicted of murder in June 2016 following a trial at the Old Bailey and jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years.
Ellie’s mother, Jennie Gray, was given a 42-month term after being found guilty of child cruelty. She had admitted perverting the course of justice.
Gray, now 38, later applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to bring challenges in relation to both child cruelty and perverting the course of justice.
Lord Justice Irwin, sitting at the London court with two other judges, announced on Friday that her applications had failed.
Ellie had been placed in the care of her grandparents after Butler was accused of shaking her when she was a baby.
But she was returned to the care of Butler – and her mother – following a ruling by Mrs Justice Hogg in 2012 in the Family Division of the High Court.
The Old Bailey trial heard that in October 2013 Butler battered his daughter to death at the family home in Sutton, south London, in a momentary but volcanic loss of temper after months of subjecting his partner and daughter to abuse.
The couple angrily protested their innocence when jurors returned guilty verdicts.
Gray told them they had made a “big mistake”, while Butler shouted that he would “fight forever” in the appeal courts.
Lord Justice Irwin dismissed her renewed applications, ruling that there was “no basis” for any potential successful appeal and that none of her criticisms of the trial process undermined the safety of her conviction.