Peter Ellis could only find justice in death – this is NZ


Civic creche case: Supreme Court quashes Peter Ellis’ child sex abuse convictions

After almost 30 years the Supreme Court has quashed Peter Ellis’ convictions for child sex abuse, labelling his case a “substantial miscarriage of justice”.

In 1993, Ellis, a childcare worker, was found guilty of 16 sexual abuse charges against children at the Christchurch Civic Creche.

Ellis, who since being convicted has always maintained his innocence, was granted the appeal before his death in September 2019.

His lawyer argued Ellis deserved Tikanga – the right to establish the mana of a dead person.  

The appeal is his third, following two in the 1990s. The first resulted in three convictions being quashed but the second appeal against the remaining 13 convictions was dismissed in 1999.

Ellis was 33 years old when he faced child sex abuse allegations in November 1991, against a backdrop of increased anxiety about child sex abuse in western countries. 

Ellis spent his life trying to clear his name, and today his brother Mark sat in the Supreme Court listening to the words his late brother had waited so long to hear.

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“This Court has unanimously allowed Mr Ellis’ appeal and quashed his convictions,” said Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann.

The Supreme Court found two key problems in Ellis’ trial resulting in a “substantial miscarriage of justice”.

FINALLY! Justice for Peter!

In the post Me Too landscape where accusation is the new evidential threshold, Peter Ellis may have been already been publicly executed, but the hysterical manner in which he was convicted in the 1990s has never been examined and his guilt remains one of the most outrageous miscarriages of justice this country has ever witnessed.

Ellis was convicted after touring evangelical Christians visited Christchurch and convinced  the city in town hall meetings that a global satanic cult child sex ring was sexually abusing children.

The horror of how biased Police investigating the case went on to have sexual relationships with the solo mothers of the children abused, the horror of how leading questions were used to elicit compromised answers from the children and the horror of how the evidence was incentivised with ACC payments for any child who was ‘abused’ all combined to create the worst of Lynch mobs.

What is worse than a miscarriage of justice is the total lack of check and balance to that miscarriage.

The State refuses to acknowledge that as a human system, our justice system can lock up innocent people and refuse to be accountable for that far too often!

We have seen corrupt police interrogation tactic after corrupt police interrogation tactic locking innocent people up and never being held accountable for that!

We let Peter Ellis down and in the current age of trial by twitter, I believe we would fail him again if this happened today.

In the end, Peter Ellis could only find justice in death.

This is NZ.

The most terrifying part of the bitter miscarriage of justice against Peter Ellis is the naked reality that in the post me too landscape, if he were accused today, he’d already be cancelled and convicted on NZ Twitter.

The reason NZ Twitter woke are so quiet on the Peter Ellis judgement is because they must all B-E-L-I-E-V-E anyone who makes an accusation.

Accordingly ANYONE who suggests Peter Ellis was innocent is also a sex offender.

What great progress we’ve all made.

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  1. now we need a formal public inquiry into the previous reviews who’s outcomes were clearly politically motivated and designed to protect biased and perjured evidence…not to mention the cops involved…we won’t get it but it’s a greasy mark on NZ that makes other countries look at us like a bunch of hicks.

    not gonna go into it all….just read ‘a city possessed’ and that was published how long ago?

  2. I was helping to install a kitchen at Rolleston Prison when Peter Ellis was held there .A prisoner said unlike most child molesters he was not intimidated as other inmates declared him innocent. Itvis a pity neither he or his mother survived to hear the verdict of no guilty.

      • Happy to agree with you 100% Bert

        I was in London in 1995, just doing odd jobs and got offered a job as a male nanny to two young boys as their mother thought it a great idea to have male to kick a ball around with and play with. In said are you serious???

        Then I realized that the UK hadn’t gone through the pitch forks at dawn witch burning of males in ece…yet. Still I wasn’t going to take it, too risky.

  3. I hear RNZ still trying desperately to pretend he’s guilty who are they still protecting? I thinks we can guess…an awarded NZ lesbian artist for one, as well as some lauded NZ academics perchance?

    • No, RNZ weren’t doing that but they did allow an “Aunt” of a complainant family to recite the usual misinformation and “believe the children” line, whilst being too dishonest to inform that the particular child she was referring to only started “disclosing” after a couple of months of relentless grilling by his mother.
      It’s all well documented by the deluded mother herself, pseudonym “Joy Bander”, in her book A Mother’s Story.
      Find and read that particular book and you’ll know without any trace of doubt those children were abused by many of their parents and the system, not by Ellis.

      • and how much time did RNZ give to each viewpoint and did they not lead the aunt with ‘sweetheart’ questions. rc

        • RNZ ran several stories yesterday, the majority of which celebrated the judgement and included speakers such as Nigel Hampton KC, Ellis’ family, his friend and prison chaplain.

      • miriam saphira and karen zelas to name 2…not to mention the ‘detective’ who was shagging a couple of the mothers for starters rc

        • Zelas appears to be a convenient scapegoat for the Supreme Court to finger. There are greater villains in the saga. The homophobic constable Eade who drove the initial investigation, Zelas, the social workers, interviewers et al were all but bit players in a perfect storm.

          But the systemic failure of the judicial system at initial depositions, trial, appeal and Ministerial inquiry are quite another matter. An honest assessment of those failures is still being soft balled and talked around rather than confronted – because reputations are still at risk.

          It’s all very polite, no one bothers to stress that Williamson J presided over two of the most high profile miscarriages of justice in NZ history: the Ellis and Bain convictions, and both cases brought in the waning years of his career. His personal friend Eichelbaum later clears Williamson’s presentation of the evidential interviews at trial.

          No one points out that Brent Stanaway prosecuted both Ellis and George Gwaze, another egregiously misconceived prosecution. In fact, Stanaway tried and failed twice in his pursuit of Gwaze.

          The Ellis team have largely played by the book. The NZ public still haven’t been made aware of the political and systemic mechinations that permeated the case. It’s high time some real light was shone on it.

          • zelas had no basis for her satanic abuse claims no empirical evidence yet she still presented her ‘theories’ because that’s all they were as fact..knowing full well they were valueless she was ‘politically motivated’ and don’t forget the line from many radical feminists then was ‘all gay men are paedophiles’…you wouldn’t credit it but true…she’s gone on to a long and successful career in medicine when frankly she should have been struck off and has expressed no regret for her actions as far as I know.

    • Gagarin. Interesting if RNZ is clutching onto some sort of “guilty” stance when contemporary police are quite open about their belief in Mr Ellis’s innocence. Radio NZ should speak to them, unless of course, RNZ’s role is to spread filth and lies.

      • ellis being innocent is ideologically inconvenient for RNZ and that’s the basic reason our corrupt judiciary found him guilty at trial and appeals…

        • First thing to do is the family sue the already identified liars for every thing.
          Then revamp the non science of psychology

    • Maybe you heard a broadcast different than what is published on their website. To me that’s just highlights the parents of some of the kids are still convinced of his guilt and believe their kids spoke for those that couldn’t. Very odd when one witness, considered the most reliable, said her testimony was incorrect. Perhaps those parents can’t accept the fact they ruined the life of a young man.

  4. A good summary by Martyn, even though I am a Conservative Christian I have always thought that he was innocent and that the numerous faults with the trial should have been rectified long before now.

  5. To little to late for Mr Ellis. A sad indictment on our society and judicial system that listened to various hearsay’s rather than facts in condemning a man, in the end to death. Sadly in this age of trial by social media, there will be more Peter Ellis’s to condemn.

  6. Everyone of those Christchurch mothers who received a $10,000 ACC payout for producing a very small child allegedly abused by the late Peter Ellis, must give serious consideration to redirecting its value to a better recipient. God rest Mrs Ellis, and her son.

  7. ” In the end, Peter Ellis could only find justice in death.

    This is NZ.

    Its this kind of utter corruption and cruelty that makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander. It gives me no confidence in the application of justice or the legal enforcement …the NZ Police to uphold the rights to truth and fairness without corruption.

    Peter and his family were subject to a kangaroo court situation and this travesty can happen to ANYONE OF US !

    This is exoneration is to late for Peter and his family but should been seen as one of our darkest days.

    Te Rangimarie at last Peter.

  8. Thank you Bomber for giving a quick outline of the corrupt police investigation in this case. It is very convenient that the child psychiatrist in this case was so incompetent that she makes the perfect fall guy for the Supreme Court. Why now? to find that her appalling incompetence was allowed to go unnoticed by the legal system for so fucking long??Ellis was a gentle, sweet, harmless gay man. If he hadn’t come from such a loving family he would have left for Sydney in his youth and would never come back here.
    No criticism of the police investigation in the reasoning is wanton arse covering by our useless Justice System!

  9. There were a few people who make their careers by creating medical papers on their own personal career path that was basic psudo science (repressed memories, that has since been debunked because of they way it was conducted, more like ‘implanting memories’).
    The worst thing about about the whole sorry episode, was the fact that the Govt (ACC) paid out thousands to the parents, and if it all unravelled and found false there was a fear the money would have to be paid back, which was highly doubtful, but means the parent(s) had a good reason to dig their heels in and never admit their little darling(s) were not making up shit!

    • I’m right. Don’t forget the sociologists, now, unfortunately, possibly as disreputable as “feminists “ are, and who are the people conveniently monitoring so-called hate speech for the New Zealand government. They were very much among the “ repressed memory” wallahs here in New Zealand.

      Anyone who was once a child knows that small children often live in a make believe world, quite innocently, not because they’re little shits. It was a tragic mad mess. RIP Peter Ellis.

  10. It is our Yank witch-hunt, so, interesting to see the parents still maintaining his crime. Let’s vivisect that. Cos he didn’t do anything, in my book. Gret sorrow for him.

  11. Well said Martyn and the commenters above.

    In was obviously an unsafe conviction: even the law society published an article condemning it, yet the legal authorities refused to grant an appeal on a technicality and our political leaders looked the other way.

    Shame on them all!

    • Andrew. What needs to be said, so I ‘ll say it, is that the sort of persons using a city council crèche were low rent people. The police mightn’t have realised that, but the local judiciary most certainly would have. This could explain, but certainly not excuse, a more negligent or cavalier legal process than had they been denizens of Merivale, Fendalton or Strowan. A similar crucifixion occurred in the same time frame in Christchurch of an imported English surgeon from a non-posh working class background, opinioned upon by the chairman of the New Zealand College of Surgeons, less well trained, and working in a provincial hospital, with local medicos too gutless to speak up.

      • The city council creche was popular with university graduates related to Labour politicians. Not “low rent People”

        • and a cabal of well heeled radical feminist lesbian separatists who were happy to sent their kids there, james

  12. Irony that this welcome but melancholy ruling comes at the same time as Phil Goff and Liane Dalziel have just left the picture.

  13. Very sad it took so long for the situation to change.
    Shame on all those nutty zealots of the time who had it in for him. Accusing him of violations that had little substance just make believe fashionable psycho b.s of the 1990’s era onwards.
    What an amazing courage and strength of spirit he must have had as a human being to have gone through that horrible ordeal.
    He teaches us much about life I think…
    My thoughts are with his family and friends too.
    Rest in peace Peter.

  14. Writing as a NZRN, I knew at the time that leading questions of the children procured contaminated responses – unhelpful to any investigation. Justice has been done but too late for Peter Ellis & many people would have no recall of the events of that time. However, rather late than never.

  15. they weren’t just ‘leading questions’ it was hassling, browbeating cajoling, practically verbally torturing ‘confessions’ out of the kids…the real child abuse was carried out by the parents.

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