The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports

2001 Jan-June

The Dominion
March 6 2001

Report on inquiry into Ellis case with Government

Justice Minister Phil Goff has received the report of the ministerial inquiry into the Peter Ellis case.

Mr Goff confirmed yesterday that he had seen the report which would be circulated to interested parties before it was made public next week. Retired chief justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum had been due to report last August but the time was extended to February.

Debate has raged over the case since Ellis's conviction in 1993 on 13 charges of sexually abusing children in his care at the Christchurch Civic Crèche.

Ellis, 41, spent 6<> years in prison but maintained his innocence throughout and refused early parole because it would have required that he admit guilt. He was freed in February last year.

Mr Goff announced the ministerial inquiry the following month.

Sir Thomas was asked to look into the matters that the Court of Appeal indicated it could not appropriately consider, in particular to identify current best practice for investigating mass allegation sexual abuse cases and to determine whether those practices were followed in the Ellis case.

Sir Thomas is investigating whether the way the evidence was gathered against Ellis was sound and, if not, whether the breaches were so serious that a pardon was warranted.