Ben Butler: Murder trial told skull fractures 'possible in chair fall'

ben butler ellie butler Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Ben Butler complained he is not getting a "fair trial"

A doctor has told the trial of a man accused of his daughter's murder it is "possible but uncommon" for a child to suffer a skull fracture in a fall from a chair.

Dr Chris Van Ee told the Old Bailey he did not rule out the idea Ellie Butler was fatally injured in such a fall.

Ben Butler denies murdering Ellie at their home in Sutton, London.

He earlier argued he was not getting a "fair trial" when another doctor was interrupted while giving evidence.

In his evidence, biomechanic Dr Van Ee, of Wayne State University, Michigan, referred to the pink children's stool lying next to Ellie when she was found dead in her bedroom, on 28 October, 2013.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ben Butler said he found Ellie dead in the family home in Sutton

He said that taking into account the height of the chair of 10.6 ins (27cms) and Ellie's height of under 60ins (1.52m), there was a distance of some 50ins (1.27m).

"I cannot rule out the fall resulting in Ellie's head injury," he said.

Under cross-examination, Dr Van Ee admitted he had not seen all the post-mortem photos and could not say whether the skull fractures indicated one or two impacts.

He accepted if there were two impacts to her head, it does not tally with Ellie falling from the stool.

Mr Butler has told the court he found Ellie lying dead in her room with her eyes open.

Earlier, neuroradiologist Dr Julie Mack told the court scans of Ellie's head showed injuries which literature she had seen suggested could be as little as two weeks old.

'It is unbelievable'

She dismissed an earlier expert witness suggestion Ellie suffered more than one impact, saying: "I don't think it is a safe conclusion to make".

But, prosecutor Ed Brown QC stood up to complain, saying he was unaware of Dr Mack's claim, or of the literature she cited.

It prompted the judge Mr Justice Wilkie to interrupt Dr Mack and said it was improper to "spring" evidence on the prosecution.

Mr Butler then responded angrily in the dock, saying it was "unbelievable", adding: "I'm not getting a fair trial, man."

The trial continues.

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