A 36-year-old man Ben Butler beat his 6 year old daughter, Ellie to death. He has been sentenced to 23 years imprisonment in what has been termed one of the 'worst ever cases of domestic violence' after Little Ellie was found dead on her bedroom floor in 2013 with 'catastrophic head injuries' more commonly associated with car crash victims.
Ben Butler shouted at a judge from the dock of the Old Bailey yesterday as he was led away to start a minimum 23-year jail sentence after it was found that he was a bullying and cruel stay-at-home dad and Ellie's mum Jennie Gray, 36, was also convicted of child cruelty and jailed for three and a half years, having already admitted perverting the course of justice.
Sentencing Butler, senior judge Mr Justice Wilkie said: 'I am satisfied, having conducted this trial and having observed you closely for in excess of two months that you were very far from being a good parent.
'You were a self-absorbed, ill-tempered, domineering man who regarded your children and partner as trophies, having no role other than to fit in with your infantile and sentimentalized view of family life, with you as the patriarch, whose every whim was to be catered for.'
'You murdered her in a brutal assault prompted by your evil temper.
'You struck her head so hard against a flat surface, or hit her so hard on the head with a blunt implement that, whether you hit her once or more than once, you inflicted catastrophic skull and brain injuries from which she very quickly died.'
'Within weeks, you were complaining in vilely abusive and self pitying terms of your lot and were taking out your inadequacies on your partner, violently and vilely, both physically and verbally.
'Within a year Ellie was dead having suffered a series of injuries, some serious, in the last few weeks of her life.
'I am satisfied that from, at the latest, late summer 2013, you subjected Ellie to a series of physical attacks, when she was in your sole care, in which she sustained injuries for none of which you sought medical attention.
'You lied to Jennie Gray about how she came by these injuries and she, totally beholden to and dominated by you, felt she had no option but to believe you and collude in your ill treatment of her.'
Medical experts have described the incident as one of the worst cases of violence in a domestic setting.
Butler had claimed Ellie sustained the horrific injuries when she hit her head as she was jumping up and down in her bedroom while watching Peppa Pig.
But prosecutors insisted Ellie's injuries were too 'extreme' and 'catastrophic' to have been caused by an accidental fall.
The back of Ellie's head was a 'boggy mass', the court heard, and a post-mortem examination attributed her death to Butler either beating her over the head with a heavy object or throwing her against the floor or wall.
'All of this took some two hours during all of which you left your dead daughter lying unattended on her bedroom floor like a carefully placed prop in a stage scene,' said the judge.
'Your performance in the 999 call was not only breathtaking in its level of deceit, but your cruel disregard for any dignity to be afforded Ellie, lying there dead, is evidenced by her body being subjected repeatedly to CPR by Jennie Gray.'
Ten days before Ellie's death, her mother, Gray, turned up at work with a large injury on her forehead, claiming she had slipped on some steps the previous evening.
Ms Gray added: 'Ben was not violent to me and he certainly was not violent to my daughter and I maintain that 100 per cent.'
Police also analysed a series of text messages between the pair in which Butler called Gray a 'dog w****', 'a snake', a 'fat loser' and an 'ugly b****' and warned her: 'Stay out my way.'
In a particularly vile rant, Butler - who admitted in court that finding out about Gray's pregnancy with Ellie was the 'kiss of death' - lambasted Gray for falling pregnant. She later sought counselling after having an abortion.
The message said: 'Im disg that ur preg again and think its irresponsible and shocking...had engh of ur weight and looks..and the trble you bring.
'The weight you whacked on its quite amazing and im sick of it... no baby just massive and I just want out of this.'
But Gray continually tried to appease her partner, texting him messages such as: 'I luv U and want U'. Another sent in August said: 'Just so U know - I am obsessed and in awe of U!
Source: Daily Mail UK