The Christchurch Civic Crèche Case

News Reports

2001 Jan-June

March 19, 2001

Ellis Bid for Pardon Declined
by Brian Harmer

Convicted paedophile Peter Ellis' bid for a pardon has failed. Justice Minister Phil Goff says the Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys has declined Mr Ellis' application. The announcement follows the release of the findings of a ministerial inquiry into the Ellis case, which sought to examine whether evidence from children at the centre of the Civic Creche case, was sound. Peter Ellis was seeking a pardon if the inquiry found that the children's evidence was unreliable. Mr Goff says the head of the inquiry, retired Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum and two international experts all found that the technique used to interview the children was appropriate. He says he is confident the inquiry dealt with all of the issues which warranted further investigation. Phil Goff says the Ellis case has now had the most thorough examination possible.

(Then we need to reconsider what is "possible".  On what I have read in the news and heard on the radio, I think that this review was thorough and competent within the arcane framework defined in the law. On the other hand, I don't think the process uncovered the truth. For the record: I do not believe any abuse ever occurred at the Christchurch creche. I believe Ellis was jailed for a crime that never happened. I believe that a number of parents wanted to believe the worst, and in the process of interrogating their children, managed, even if not deliberately, to plant the responses in their children which appear to condemn Ellis. - Brian Harmer)