Man convicted of murdering toddler two weeks after adoption

Man convicted of murdering toddler two weeks after adoption

A fitness instructor has been found guilty of murdering his 18-month-old baby girl just two weeks after formally adopting the child.

The court heard that Scully-Hicks had complained in a series of texts that Elsie was a hard child, describing her as "Satan dressed in a baby grow" and calling her a "psycho" and "monster".

Cardiff Crown Court heard he struggled to cope with being the primary carer for Elsie as his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks (36), worked full-time.

Giving evidence, neighbours of the family reported hearing the former lifeguard shouting "shut the f*** up" at Elsie and calling her a "little f****** brat" and a "silly little c***" when she cried.

Following the trial which lasted more than four weeks, jurors unanimously found Scully-Hicks guilty of murder after four days deliberating the case.

In the eight months Elsie lived with Scully-Hicks and his husband, she sustained a number of injuries, which the prosecution suggested amounted to "assault and abuse". She was treated in hospital twice for broken bones and bruises.

The review into Elsie's death is being launched by the Cardiff and Vale Regional Child Safeguarding Board and could take up to year to complete.

The couple first adopted Elsie in September 2015 and the adoption process was finalised almost eight months later.

Matthew Scully-Hick's husband, Craig, told the court the couple's home was filled with nothing but love and affection.

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'She was just 18 months old, ' Lewis said.

She died at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, after doctors decided she would not survive her traumatic head injuries.

She had a bleed on the brain, a skull fracture, retinal bleeding in both of her eyes and damaged ribs.

Lewis said: "He shook her and he struck her head against some hard surface, or he used a hard object to hit her to the back of the head".

Elsie's rib fractures were likely caused by Scully-Hicks gripping her, the court heard.

The cardiac arrest caused further brain injury and Elsie died in the early hours of May 29.

Elsie was removed from her biological mother, a drug user, within days of her birth on November 2014.

After the tragic death police examined electronic devices belonging to Scully-Hicks.

Dr Sarah Harrison said the defendant's account that Elsie had fallen from an activity table was unlikely. She's not responding to me...

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