Ellie Butler murder: Killer showed psychopathic tendencies as a child, family friends says

By Sam Tonkin

Bullying child killer Ben Butler showed "psychopathic" tendencies as a boy and tortured his pet dog so badly its leg had to be amputated, it has been claimed.

The stay-at-home father, who was jailed for life last week after being found guilty of murdering his 6-year-old daughter, was aged 8 when he attacked the Yorkshire terrier.

He is also said to have picked on his little brother Tony and was eventually thrown out of the family home by his mother because she was scared of him.

Butler reportedly pulled on the dog's right back leg so hard that it had to be amputated, according to James Fielding at the Sunday Express.

Butler played the devoted father.
Butler played the devoted father.

Controlling Butler, 36, will serve at least 23 years in jail for beating his daughter Ellie to death at the family home in Sutton, south London, before concocting an elaborate plot in a bid to get away with murder.

Little Ellie was found dead on her bedroom floor in 2013 with "catastrophic head injuries" more commonly associated with car crash victims.

Her mother, Jennie Gray, 36, was last week convicted of child cruelty, having already admitted perverting the course of justice, and was jailed for three and a half years.

A family friend, who asked not to be named, told the Express: "He is nothing but a psychopath.

"I remember when he was eight he grabbed hold of Toffee, the family's Yorkshire terrier, and pulled his back leg with such force the limb was almost hanging by a thread. It was so badly dislocated the vet had no choice but to amputate.

Ellie Butler lived with her grandparents.
Ellie Butler lived with her grandparents.

"But that was Ben all over, always picking on smaller and weaker targets than himself. He was always picking on Tony, his younger half-brother."

Medical experts described Ellie's death as one of the worst cases of violence in a domestic setting.

Butler had claimed his daughter sustained the horrific injuries when she hit her head as she was jumping up and down in her bedroom while watching Peppa Pig.

But prosecutors insisted Ellie's injuries were too "extreme" and "catastrophic" to have been caused by an accidental fall.

The back of Ellie's head was a "boggy mass", the court heard, and a post-mortem examination attributed her death to Butler either beating her over the head with a heavy object or throwing her against the floor or wall.

Butler appeared to be a devoted father.
Butler appeared to be a devoted father.

A series of text messages and letters used in evidence at the trial revealed how Butler repeatedly criticised his daughter, describing her as a "c***" when she wet herself in front of him.

Butler shouted at a judge from the dock of the Old Bailey last week as he was led away to start a minimum 23-year jail sentence.

- Daily Mail

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