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Peter Ellis - Criticisms and the police case
Christchurch Queen’s Counsel Nigel Hampton told the 20/20 programme, and other reporters following the broadcast, that he was alarmed at the revelations about the two jurors who had not declared their interest, whom he said did not appear to fit into the necessary category of being detached and objective. (Hampton had worked on the Ellis appeal in 1994).

Criticisms of the police case from Ellis’s supporters and in the 20/20 programme and in other media since include:

  • Children were questioned using discredited techniques which could have led to fabricated allegations.
  • Questioning produced some bizarre allegations which showed the children's evidence could not be relied on.
  • Ellis would have had difficulty in committing the offences unnoticed because of the crèche’s layout and the number of people passing through.
  • The absence of any unsolicited complaints about Ellis from crèche children.
  • Sharing information and rumour among crèche parents after a psychologically disturbed parent made the first allegation in 1991.

Winstone Weallons, spokesperson for the Ellis support group is seeking an inquiry headed by someone from overseas, into the way police handled the investigation and for Ellis to be released immediately. (In an interesting aside, when Weallons was interviewed on Morning Report on 19 October, he said police had searched his home during the early part of the investigation. He said he told them then, ‘you had better be right about this, otherwise I am coming after you’.

Solicitor Judith Ablett-Kerr acting for Ellis announced on Monday 17 November, she is to present a petition to the Governor General asking that Ellis be pardoned because of the apparent inconsistencies and areas of concern about the way the investigation and trial were handled.

In March 1998 Peter Ellis became eligible for parole but refused to appear before the parole board stating that he would rather remain in jail than be freed on parole for crimes he did not commit. On Friday March 27th 1998 it was announced that the Governor General had recommended the case be referred back to the Court of Appeal.

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