Father beats 6-year-old daughter to death after winning custody battle


Ben and Ellie Butler 
By: Wayne Morin

(Scroll down for video) An angry father beat his little daughter to death just months after winning a lengthy custody battle, according to police in the United Kingdom.

Now, 36-year-old Ben Butler of London, has been sentenced to serve 23 years in prison after being convicted of murder in connection with the beating death of his daughter, 6-year-old Ellie Butler.

Butler’s wife, 36-year-old Jennie Gray, has been sentenced to serve 42 months in prison after being convicted of child cruelty.

Gray regularly appeared in the television series EastEnders.

The court heard that after battering Ellie to death he called Gray and told her to come home from work instead of calling for help.

The couple then hatched a plot to destroy the evidence and staged the crime scene as an accidental fall. Gray then called paramedics and shouted at the operator while performing CPR despite knowing that her daughter was dead.

The couple then sent their younger child to Ellie’s room to wake her up. The child can then be heard telling the operator that Ellie won’t wake up.

The beating death came months after the children were returned to their parents after allegations that Butler violently shook Ellie when she was just 7 weeks old.

Butler had been convicted of assault in that case, but it was overturned on appeal. A family court judge then declared a happy end to the incident by returning the children to Butler’s custody.

After the children returned to the home, Butler became abusive towards his wife and children.

Butler told investigators that Ellie was playing with her dog and watching television when she tried to imitate Peppa Pig by jumping off a chair.

She hit her head and died. The jury did not believe his story, and he was convicted of murder. Gray insists that her husband is innocent.