The mum of dead school girl Ellie Butler has appeared in court charged with intent to pervert the course of justice.

Jennie Gray, 34, appeared in front of Croydon magistrates this morning and was released on bail to appear at the Old Bailey in central London on May 20.

Six-year-old Ellie died after being found with severe head injuries at the house Ms Gray shared with her partner Ben Butler in Westover Close on Sutton's Shanklin Estate in October last year.

Mr Butler, a removal man, was charged with murder in March and is due to enter a plea at the Old Bailey on May 29. He blew a kiss to Ms Gray who was at the Old Bailey as he was led into custody.

Graphic designer Ms Gray was arrested and bailed in connection with the death and was eventually charged with intent to pervert the course of justice in April.

Emergency services were called to Westover Close where Ellie had been found unconscious on Monday, October 28. She was taken to a south London hospital where she was pronounced dead that afternoon.

A post mortem concluded she died from head injuries.

Ellie went to the Avenue Primary School and was described as "kind, helpful and giggly" by headteacher Alex Clark who also said the whole school as shocked to hear of her death.

He added: "She had a lovely nature and was really patient and caring. Ellie loved art and always took a real pride in illustrating her work and she said she wanted to be an artist when she grew up.

"Ellie was a lovely little girl and she will be greatly missed by all the staff and her friends at Avenue."