London

Ben Butler 'hostile and aggressive' to police after daughter's death

Ben Butler with Ellie Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Ben Butler is accused of murdering his daughter Ellie Butler

A father claimed he was the victim of a "miscarriage of justice" when police asked him how his daughter died from a devastating head injury, a court has heard.

Ben Butler allegedly became "hostile" and "aggressive" toward officers after six-year-old Ellie Butler died in hospital in October 2013.

He "stared accusingly" at an officer collecting evidence, the jury was told.

The 36-year-old denies murder and a second charge of child cruelty.

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His partner Jennie Gray has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice but denies a charge of child cruelty.

'Twisted and turned'

The Old Bailey heard the pair were reluctant to talk to police following the death of their daughter at St George's Hospital in Tooting.

PC Steve Stewart told the court: "I discovered them both to be hostile and unwilling to speak to police until the previous matter was known where they believed there had been a miscarriage of justice."

The court heard Mr Butler was convicted of harming Ellie in 2007 when she was six weeks old, but won an appeal and got his daughter back from foster care 11 months before her death.

He said accusations were made after she suffered a bleed on the brain and everything had got "twisted and turned", which made him "nervous" about talking to authorities.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Six-year-old Ellie Butler died at her home in Sutton

"I went to court, jail, came out," he told the jury. "They found out it was a medical problem and a miscarriage of justice. I have nothing to hide but that's why I'm nervous."

According to an officer's notes, Mr Butler said on the day of Ellie's death he gave her some food before Ms Gray returned from work.

The next time he saw his daughter was when she was collapsed on the floor of her bedroom in Sutton, south-west London, the defendant claimed.

Following his arrest, Mr Butler was observed to quietly mutter to himself "I have done nothing wrong".

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

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