Six-year-old girl asked to speak to judge who exonerated her father before he went on to kill her

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A six-year-old girl who was battered to death by her father had asked to speak to the judge who exonerated her parents and allowed her to be returned to their care, an inquest was told.
Ellie Butler was placed in the care of her grandparents as a baby after her father was accused of shaking her, before a High Court ruling saw that she was handed back to him. 
She was returned to the care of her father Ben Butler and her mother Jennie Gray in 2012 after a ruling by Mrs Justice Hogg. The child was later battered to death by her dad at their family home in Sutton, south London.
Elizabeth Kearney, headteacher of Beddington Infants’ School, which Ellie attended, said he was concerned after being told the six-year-old had expressed a wish to speak to Mrs Hogg.  
Ms Kearney said she was concerned that Ellie would not be able to continue the "loving relationships" she had formed with her grandparents and that she may be moved to another school away from her friends.
She was also wary about the plan for the "handover" to take place at the school, which she was keen to keep neutral for Ellie, following the proceedings in the family division of the High Court.
Ms Kearney told South London Coroner's Court in Croydon she wrote a letter to the judge months after her ruling outlining her fears, but did not send it after coming to the view it would not change things. 
She said considering that Ellie, "a five-year-old child, had asked to speak to the judge... I felt I needed to do something about that" and this led her, "rightly or wrongly" to write the letter.
Ben Butler, who was listening to proceedings via video link from prison, where he is currently serving life with a minimum term of 23 years for Ellie's murder, interrupted her by shouting out: "Who says she asked?"

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