Jury hears parents call 999 after Ellie Butler's 'fatal fall'

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

Jurors in the murder trial of a father accused of battering his six-year-old daughter to death have been played the 999 call made by her parents.

Ellie Butler's mother, Jennie Gray, is heard to shout: "It's my daughter, she's not breathing."

A paramedic said Ellie was "cold and blue" when she arrived at the south-west London home in October 2013.

Her father Ben denies murder. Ms Gray admits perverting the course of justice by hiding or destroying evidence.

Both have denied a charge of child cruelty relating to a shoulder injury suffered by Ellie.

The pair, from Westover Close, Sutton, can both be heard on the phone during the 15-minute 999 call.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe 999 call

The call was made two hours after Ellie Butler suffered her injuries, the Old Bailey had been told.

Mr Butler comes on the phone and is heard swearing as he confirms the couple's home address for the ambulance, saying Ellie has "fallen down".

The child's mother broke down as the call was played in court.

First responder Sarah Hardy told the court she found Ellie in her pyjamas, lying on the floor of her bedroom, as her mother carried out CPR.

The medic said Ellie was "very cold and blue" and had no heartbeat.

When asked what had happened, she said Mr Butler told her "I don't know. I thought she was in her bedroom sleeping."

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

Ms Hardy told jurors she could not understand how Ellie had died until she noticed a "boggy mass" on the back of her head.

She said: "I realised the cause of death was a traumatic cardiac arrest. I had concerns as to how this had happened and called police."

A post-mortem examination revealed Ellie Butler had suffered skull fractures from at least two severe impacts.

A neighbour of the couple, Elaine Winson, described seeing a blank expression on Mr Butler's face as Ellie was taken to an ambulance.

"The mother was severely distressed and holding on to the trolley," she said. "He had no expression on his face. There was nothing."

Another neighbour Marion Cook saw Ms Gray a few days later, and said she "broke down in tears" and said Ellie "fell off her bed and hit her head on a radiator."

The prosecution said doctors ruled out an accidental fall, and put her fatal injuries down to Mr Butler either beating the girl over the head with a heavy object or throwing her against the floor or wall.

The case continues.

Related Topics

More on this story