A dad brutally murdered his 18-month-old daughter only two weeks after he had adopted her, a court has heard.
Gay Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is accused of inflicting devastating injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks, including brain haemorrhages that ultimately caused her death.
A post mortem also revealed the toddler had suffered several broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull. Scully-Hicks had adopted Elsie with his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, only two weeks prior to her death on May 25, 2016.
She had started living with them in Llandaff, Cardiff, in September 2015 after being removed from her natural mother, who was a drug user.
Scully-Hicks, a full-time dad, had called emergency services at around 6.20pm after she had become unresponsive, Cardiff Crown Court heard. She was pronounced dead at University Hospital of Wales on May 29 despite paramedics working hard to save her life when they found she was not breathing.
‘It is the prosecution case that the injuries that caused Elsie’s death were inflicted upon her by the defendant shortly before he called the emergency services on that day,’ Paul Lewis QC, prosecuting, said. ‘We allege that his attack on her on that day was not the first time that he had employed violence towards Elsie, nor was it the first time that he had caused her serious injury.
‘We allege that his actions on the late afternoon/evening of May 25 were the tragic culmination of a course of violent conduct on his part towards a defenceless child – an infant that he should have loved and protected, but whom he instead assaulted, abused and ultimately murdered.’
Jurors were told her injuries may have been more severe because she could have had insufficient vitamin D levels, affecting the density and structure of her bones. They also heard Scully-Hicks had sent text messages to friends suggesting he was ‘struggling to cope’ with the children and also referred to Elsie in a text to his husband as ‘Satan dressed up in a baby grow!!!’.
Neighbours also said they heard him cursing at her. Mr Lewis said the defendant may try to claim Elsie’s adoptive sibling caused the injuries.
Scully-Hicks denies one charge of murder. The trial, expected to last for five weeks, continues.
To think social services took the poor baby away from her own mother because she was deemed to be at risk……