27 Dec 2010

Ellis again seeks full pardon

3:30 pm on 27 December 2010

Peter Ellis is again petitioning the Governor-General for a full pardon.

Mr Ellis served almost seven years of a 10-year sentence after being found guilty of 16 charges of sexual abuse of children at a civic creche in Christchurch in the early 1990s. He was released in February 2000.

Mr Ellis, 51, denies all the allegations.

He has already had three petitions for a pardon and two appeals against his conviction turned down.

An application for a Royal Commission into his case was also rejected.

Judith Ablett-Kerr QC says the new petition rests on fresh Otago University research indicating the questioning of the children was below a legally acceptable standard.

Ms Ablett-Kerr says it is crucial to Mr Ellis and his mother that his name is cleared and the petition will be lodged at the end of January.

Mr Ellis says the research has given him renewed hope of clearing his name.

He says he's been able to keep going because of people's support, including those of the children involved in the case, who have invited him to their milestone celebrations such as 21sts and weddings.

'Gold standard' research - author

A long-time supporter of Mr Ellis, author Lynley Hood, says fresh research on child interviewing during his trial is of such a high standard it should compel the Ministry of Justice to hold a Commission of Inquiry.

Ms Hood, who wrote the book A City Possessed about the case, says the research is of gold standard scholarship, conducted independently.