Following my latest blog on Ellie Butler, I am saddened but perhaps not surprised to learn that the former Mrs. Justice Hogg has refused to explain her misjudgment.  On any view, an indefensible decision.

Attempts to explain Ellie’s murder and whether it could have been avoided are being investigated by Christine Davies, the Head of the local safeguarding children’s Board where Ellie and her abusive parents lived.  It is her duty to ensure, in so far as it is possible, that children in her area are not abused and killed, and any help Ms. Davies  can be given by those involved in Ellie’s case could prove vital.

What saddens Ms. Davies, and all of us reading the harrowing accounts of Ellie’s short life, is the fact that on Mrs. Justice Hogg’s direct order, the Board were prevented from offering any help or support or supervision when it could have saved Ellie’s life.  At the very least, the judge should explain her decision.  She obviously got it horribly wrong, but there might be exculpatory reasons for her decision.  I doubt it, as on the face of it she made a monumental blunder.  But if she doesn’t explain herself, we shall never know, and her silence will simply confirm our worst suspicions as to her competence.

I for one would like to know why the retired Mrs. Justice Hogg ignored the warnings and premonitions of Ellie’s grandparents.  Her grandfather is calling for an independent inquiry, I expect Ms. Davies would associate herself with that.  As things stand, any inquiry will have to do without Mrs. Justice Hogg’s contribution, such as it may have been.

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David is an English barrister, writer, public performer and keynote speaker. His full profile can be found on his website.

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