The Herald reports:
Convicted sex offender Peter Ellis will consider an appeal to the Privy Council to clear his name after a request for a Commission of Inquiry into his case was today rejected by the Justice Minister.
The former Christchurch childcare worker was convicted of child sex abuse in 1993, but has always maintained his innocence.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and since then his convictions have been the subject of extensive legal battles, including two appeals, an inquiry by former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum and two overseas experts, and a 2003 petition to Parliament.
In 2008, a similar request for a Commission of Inquiry was rejected by former Justice Minister Simon Power.
Justice Minister Amy Adams today announced his latest bid for a Commission of Inquiry had been turned down on the basis that an inquiry could not be used to determine the liability of any person.
Mr Ellis’ lawyer Nigel Hampton QC, said his client would be “somewhat disappointed” by the decision.
“But it doesn’t shut all the avenues, he’s still got the ability to appeal to the Privy Council. And the other principal alternative is to again renew an application to the Governor-General for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative, which would lead, if successful to a further hearing in the Court of Appeal,” Mr Hampton said.
“Those are the two avenues open to him still, and they are the ones that we will be discussing with him and deciding on in the next little while as to which avenue we’ll follow.”
I hope one day there is a proper inquiry into this case. Not just to consider issues of whether there was any abuse at all and the guilt or innocence of Ellis – but also to consider the massive flaws in the investigation – so it never happens again that way.
I recommend interested people read the book by Lynley Hood on this case. The way children were questioned in this case would never be allowed today, and the evidence presented to the court was was very misleading.
For example if a kid said they went down to a graveyard and they saw someone get resurrected and Peter also touched them, then all the court was told is the testimony that Peter touched them. It was removed from all the fantastical other testimony.