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New push for independent Ellis inquiry

Sat 20 Dec 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Peter Ellis A fresh bid has been launched for an independent inquiry into the Peter Ellis case. It comes in a letter Dunedin author Lynley Hood and former National leader Don Brash have written to Justice Minister Amy Adams. Ellis, an openly-gay man, was convicted of abusing children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche in the early 90s. The case was based on opinions of child psychologists and statements given by children, which included bizarre claims of forced night time excursions across the building's rooftops, children imprisoned in metal cages hanging from the creche's ceilings and extreme physical torture for which there was no physical or behavioural evidence. Lynley Hood published a book about the case titled A City Possessed, which cast extreme doubt on the case and verdict, and the interview methods which were used. Hood and former politician Don Brash have now written to Amy Adams saying it's an issue saying “the time is long overdue for the Minister responsible for our justice system to demonstrate the political will and moral courage necessary to ensure that a comprehensive and genuinely independent inquiry is held into what is widely regarded as New Zealand's most egregious miscarriage of justice”. The pair is asking for an overseas judge to review the entire case. “The Civic Creche case is recognised internationally as a manifestation of a wave of child abuse hysteria that swept the western world in the 1990s. Hundreds of innocent childcare workers were convicted of bizarre and often impossible crimes against very young children. Yet in all these cases there was no reliable evidence that any crime had ever taken place. “The convictions were based solely on the coerced evidence of very young children. Most of the overseas cases have now been overturned. In the Creche case, some of the accusing children have retracted their allegations. New academic research has highlighted the unreliability of the children's testimony. That the wrongs done in the Creche case have not been righted after all this time is nothing short of a scandal.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 20th December 2014 - 2:08pm

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