Convicted child abuser Peter Ellis is to lodge a fresh petition to the Governor-General seeking a full pardon.
Mr Ellis served almost seven years in prison after being found guilty of 16 charges of sexual abuse of children at a civic creche in Christchurch in the early 1990s.
Mr Ellis, 51, has always denied the allegations and has already had three petitions for a pardon and two appeals against his conviction turned down. An application for a Royal Commission of inquiry into his case was also rejected.
I was bitterly disappointed that the Government turned down a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Ellis case, as there were so many aspects of the case that needed a full investigation.
His lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr QC said the new petition rested on fresh Otago University research indicating the questioning of the children was below a legally acceptable standard.
I’m not optimistic that the Government will act, but I hope they do. While opinion is divided on many other high profile cases, I know of very few people who think the Ellis convictions were safe – ie proven beyond reasonable doubt.