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  1. ITV Report

Ben Butler's TV appeal to return the daughter he later killed

A man found guilty of killing his daughter had given an interview on TV just a year earlier – appealing for her to be returned to his care.

Ben Butler was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm and child cruelty against his daughter, Ellie, in 2010.

On Tuesday, Ben Butler was jailed for 23 years for murdering his daughter in 2013. His partner, Jennie Gray, was jailed for 42 months for child cruelty and covering up the killing.

The couple appeared on ITV's This Morning in October 2012 in the hope of persuading Services 4 Children – the firm appointed to review the ongoing living arrangements for Ellie – to return the child to his care.

Ben Butler on ITV's This Morning in 2012. Credit: This Morning

His appearance on ITV was part of a series of high-profile interviews he conducted at the time, during his on-going custody battle.

S4C were forced to return Ellie to her parents on November 9, 2012, citing that the six-year-old was “settled and content”.

During the interview, Jennie Gray described Ben Butler as “trying to be the perfect dad”.

The mistakes that have been made, we're going to pay for the rest of our lives.

Sometimes it's hard, when all this happened and you have to become a kind of machine to keep going and getting through. It's hard to concentrate on what you're doing anymore.

– Ben Butler, speaking on This Morning in 2012

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