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Privy Council move for Ellis

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    Privy Council move for Ellis - 6-Apr-2006
    The final chapter in the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case could be played out in the Privy Council.

    Judith Ablett-Kerr, QC, the lawyer for convicted paedophile Peter Ellis, yesterday confirmed she was pressing ahead with an appeal to the Privy Council over his 1993 convictions for abusing children.

    The Ellis petition might be the last appeal the Privy Council hears from New Zealand.

    Ablett-Kerr said she would apply for special leave to appeal to the Privy Council immediately, despite having had no response from the Attorney-General on whether such an appeal should proceed.

    The justice and electoral select committee recommended last August that the Attorney-General not oppose a bid by Ellis, who was convicted of sexually abusing children at the civic creche where he worked.

    He served two-thirds of a 10-year jail sentence, but has always maintained his innocence.

    Ablett-Kerr said last September that it appeared the Solicitor-General intended to ignore the committee's recommendations.

    She said it was the Solicitor-General's role to advise the Attorney-General whether a case should proceed.

    Yesterday, she acknowledged there had been "a lot of to-ing and fro-ing" between her and the Solicitor-General and the Attorney-General.

    "But rather than delay matters any further, the decision has been taken to draft his petition and file it in London and get on with it," she said. "We'll deal with the issue of whether the Solicitor-General wishes to follow the recommendation of the select committee at a later stage."

    Meanwhile, the author of a book on the Civic Centre case, Lynley Hood, has raised concerns about the role of new Police Commissioner Howard Broad in the case.

    Broad, whose appointment was announced this week, was a detective inspector in Christchurch at the time and involved in the investigation.

    "With Howard Broad's appointment as the country's top police officer, there is a real risk that ongoing damage caused to the fabric of New Zealand society by sex-abuse hysteria and false allegations will continue unabated," Hood said.

    Broad could not be reached last night.
    Ref: - The Press

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