22 Apr 2015

Peter Ellis looking at appeal options - lawyer

8:56 am on 22 April 2015

A lawyer advising convicted child abuser Peter Ellis says an appeal to either the Privy Council or the Governor-General is being considered in the campaign to overturn his convictions.

Peter Ellis, pictured in 1992

Peter Ellis, pictured in 1992 Photo: Supplied

Yesterday, Justice Minister Amy Adams rejected Mr Ellis's request for a commission of inquiry into the case.

In 1993, he was found guilty of 13 sexual abuse charges relating to children who had been in his care at the Christchurch Civic Creche.

He served seven years of a 10-year prison term but has always maintained his innocence.

A lawyer advising him, Nigel Hampton, said Mr Ellis now has two legal avenues open to him.

"One is the Privy Council appeal. The second is to apply to the Governor-General to exercise the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, which would - if successful - lead to the matter going back to the New Zealand Court of Appeal, where it has been a couple of times already."

Mr Hampton said, though a Privy Council appeal would be expensive, it was being considered.

He said an inquiry needed to look at how the initial police investigation was handled.

"Nobody has stood back from it and looked at the surrounding matrix of fact that led to these allegations first surfacing - how they surfaced, how they were responded to, how the children were dealt with, how the children were interviewed."

Ms Adams said yesterday that a commission of inquiry could not be used to determine a person's criminal liability, and Mr Ellis' case had already been reviewed numerous times.