A father is accused of inflicting fatal head injuries to his 18-month-old daughter just two weeks after adopting her after believing she was “Satan dressed up in a baby grow.”
Fitness instructor Matthew Scully-Hicks from Delabole, Cornwall, together with his husband, had been providing shelter to Elsie the last eight months. They have recently finalized the adoption process only for Elsie to die due to a brain hemorrhage.
According to BBC News, Scully-Hicks sent text messages to his friends about his struggles in caring for the baby. He wrote that his daughter was “having a proper diva strop about it all, which is annoying.”
In another message, he said that he was “going through hell” and that Elsie’s mealtimes and bedtimes were his “worst nightmares.” He similarly described the baby as a “psycho.”
He also messaged his husband that their daughter was “Satan dressed up in a baby grow.” Neighbors recalled hearing Elsie’s cries and her father’s spiteful words including “Shut up you little f***ing brat.”
Jurors report that Scully-Hicks had to resign from work to take on the responsibilities of a full-time dad. His husband Craig, on the other hand, continued to work as a company director. They got married in August 2012 in Portugal.
The couple started caring for Elsie, who was taken away from her drug-dependent mother, in September 2015 and was able to formally adopt her in May 2016.
The Harrowing 999 Call
Thirteen days after the formal adoption, Scully-Hicks called 999 and said Elsie was “floppy and limp.” She died at University of Wales Hospital four days later. Post-mortem examinations reveal bleeding on both sides of Elsie’s brain.
Apart from a fractured skull, the baby also had broken ribs and a fractured left femur. Prosecutor Paul Lewis believes that the defendant did not only hurt Elsie once.
“We allege that his actions were the tragic culmination of a course of violent conduct on his part towards a defenseless child — an infant that he should have loved and protected — but whom he instead assaulted, abused and ultimately murdered.”
Earlier this year, Elsie was taken to the hospital because of a bruise on the head. Scully-Hicks reported at the time that she had simply fallen down the stairs.
Scully-Hicks denies the accusation that he murdered Elsie. He may soon report that it was actually Elsie’s adoptive sibling who committed the violence. His legal team also suggests that Elsie might have had a Vitamin D deficiency which made her bones vulnerable.
His lawyer told the jury that witnesses could speak of the defendant’s “palpable love and devotion to both of his children and of the deep and loving bond that he had developed with Elsie.”
The trial at Cardiff Crown Court is expected to continue in the next five weeks.
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