07.12.2021

Craig Scully-Hicks tells of his adopted daughter’s death

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is accused of killing 18-month old Elsie after 'assaulting and abusing' her over several months. He is pictured arriving at Cardiff Crown Court today

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is accused of killing 18-month old Elsie after ‘assaulting and abusing’ her over several months. He is pictured arriving at Cardiff Crown Court today

A tearful father told a murder trial today how his adopted daughter was rushed into hospital after allegedly being battered by his gay husband.

Craig Scully-Hicks, 36, told he saw 18-month-old Elsie lying on the operating table after she was ‘violently shaken’ by his husband just two weeks after the pair formally adopted her.

Tiny Elsie would die just four days after being admitted. 

Fitness instructor Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is alleged to have called Elsie ‘Satan dressed up in a baby grow’ to husband Craig before her death.

Company manager Craig told a jury via videolink how his husband rang him to say Elsie was injured – and he dashed 100 miles to the hospital.

Craig said: ‘She was on the operating table. There were just people everywhere and she was just lying on the table

‘I remember speaking to the doctor and asking if it was something to do with her eye and he dismissed it.

‘He said: “No it’s her heart.” Matt had already told me what happened.

‘He said that she was fine. He had changed her for bed. She was on the floor in the lounge.

‘He took the nappy out to the kitchen and was pottering about.

‘When he went back into the room Elsie was lying on the floor. She looked like she was asleep but she wasn’t.’

Cardiff Crown Court heard Matthew Scully-Hicks attempted CPR before the ambulance arrived.

Elsie spent four days in hospital until her life support was turned off at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Matthew Scully-Hicks is accused of ‘assaulting and abusing’ 18-month-old Elsie over seven months before murdering her at home.

The court heard he struggled to look after Elsie after giving up work to be a house-husband. He is alleged to have called the baby a ‘psycho’ and a ‘proper diva’.

A court artist sketch of Matthew Scully-Hicks: He allegedly carried out the attacks on Elsie while his partner Craig kept working full time as a company director

A court artist sketch of Matthew Scully-Hicks: He allegedly carried out the attacks on Elsie while his partner Craig kept working full time as a company director

Craig said he would often work away for days at a time while Matthew Scully-Hicks would look after Elsie and her elder sibling at home.

Craig, an account manager, said that just a month after Elsie was placed with the couple she began picking up injuries.

He told the court that Elsie suffered a fractured leg and a bruised forehead while she was being cared for by his husband.

He said: ‘I noticed she wouldn’t put her foot down on the floor.

‘Matthew said she had fallen from her activity table. He said she’d cried when she fell. He picked her up and comforted her.

‘I didn’t notice until the Saturday. It was ever so slight and wasn’t obvious.

‘She had one foot flat on the floor and had the other on tip toes.’

Matthew Scully-Hicks, formerly of Llandaff, Cardiff, and now of Delabole, Cornwall, denies murder. The trial at Cardiff Crown Court (pictured), which is expected to last two weeks, continues

Matthew Scully-Hicks, formerly of Llandaff, Cardiff, and now of Delabole, Cornwall, denies murder. The trial at Cardiff Crown Court (pictured), which is expected to last two weeks, continues

Matthew Scully-Hicks, formerly of Llandaff, Cardiff, and now of Delabole, Cornwall, denies murder

Craig said he asked family members for advice and husband Matthew took Elsie to see the doctors the following Monday.

An X-ray showed Elsie had suffered a small fracture to her ankle and she was fitted with a cast.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC asked Craig whether Elsie was in pain and whether social services had been told of her injury.

Craig Scully-Hicks said: ‘She didn’t appear to be in any distress or pain.

‘We were still getting visits from social services. Matthew must have told them about it, I don’t think it was me.’

Craig said that a month later he was away again when Elsie suffered a bruise to her head.

The jury at Cardiff Crown Court was shown a text sent to him by Matthew telling him Elsie had fallen a day before a scheduled visit by social workers.

The text said: ‘Honestly I want to cry. It’s ridiculous.

‘She went to pull herself on a toy kitchen and s
he whacked the corner of the worktop, right before our review too.’

Craig told the court: ‘When I got home I could see the bruise. It was on the left side of her forehead.’

He described ‘tiny’ Elsie as ‘delicate, but loud and bouncy’ after she first moved in with him and his husband in September 2015, just under two years after they adopted their first child.

He said: ‘She settled in fine. She was great. The house became louder. She was good apart from her sleeping. She liked to nap but then get up a few hours later.’

He said her adopted sibling had ‘got used to her in the end’ after initially throwing a tantrum when first seeing Elsie in bed with her new parents.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, formerly of Llandaff, Cardiff, and now of Delabole, Cornwall, denies murder.

The trial continues. 

 

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