Dad Battles it Out for Custody of Daughter, She Ends Up Dead 11 Months Later

UK resident Ben Butler has been found guilty of killing his six-year-old daughter, and her mother is facing charges of helping him cover up the crime.

Back in 2009, Butler was arrested for shaking his six-week-old daughter, a conviction he appealed and was overturned. Butler then commenced a public campaign to get full custody of his daughter, who was under the care of her grandparents.

He argued that his daughter had been wrongly taken from him and her mother, Jennie Gray, and declared his case a waste of taxpayers’ money.

'If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone” he claimed during his months-long campaign.

Unfortunately, Ellie was returned to her parents’ home in 2012. Not even a year later, sweet Ellie was found dead.

The judge in the case described what happened: "Thus it is that when, on October 28, you feeling under the weather and trying to catch up with your chores, lost your temper with Ellie and attacked her with lethal violence, it was not a tragic aberration but was all too consistent with your treatment of, and your attitude towards, her.”

There was also testimony that Butler was “angry, overbearing and manipulative" with a "volatile temper" which could "explode at any time".

Moreover, Butler wrote hundreds of texts threatening Gray and their two children for several weeks preceding the murder.

Butler is also alleged to have beaten Gray and Ellie on several earlier occasions, with the girl suffering a broken shoulder in a past incident.

He was sentenced to 23 years for the murder of his daughter.

Testimony in court described how mom Jennie Gray helped Butler cover up that he had beaten his daughter to death.

The two worked to re-arrange the six-year-old girl’s bedroom to make it look like she had fallen off her bed. They even sent her younger sister into the room to “discover” the body, and then finally called authorities.

Source: Marie Claire
Photo: Marie Claire

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