Elsie Scully-Hicks: Husband of murder accused ‘wouldn’t have tolerated’ violence, court hears

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Matthew Scully-Hicks allegedly inflicted a series of injuries on 18-month-old Elsie in the two weeks after her adoption.

Matthew Scully-Hicks in February 2017

The husband of a man accused of murdering his adopted daughter has told a court he never saw his spouse hurt the 18-month-old.

Matthew Scully-Hicks is accused of inflicting a series of serious injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks after formally adopting her with his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, just two weeks before her death.

The 31-year-old denies murdering the toddler at the couple’s four-bedroom home in Llandaff, Cardiff.

Giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court, Craig Scully-Hicks told the jury he had never heard his husband shout at Elsie, nor her adopted sibling.

“I need to be clear here,” he said. “My house was filled with love and happiness. All the time. If I had suspected anything I wouldn’t have tolerated it.”

Matthew Scully-Hicks outside Cardiff Crown Court
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Scully-Hicks is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court

Wales Ambulance Service received an emergency call from Matthew Scully-Hicks at about 6.20pm on 25 May 2016.

Paramedics found Elsie was not breathing, with no signs of a heartbeat, and took her to the University Hospital of Wales.

She died in hospital four days later, on 29 May 2016.

Prosecutors allege Matthew Scully-Hicks “assaulted, abused and ultimately murdered” the little girl.

Examinations at the hospital found Elsie had suffered bleeding on both sides of her brain.

A post-mortem revealed she had also suffered several broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull.

The court was told that Matthew Scully-Hicks wrote messages commenting on his adopted daughter’s personality before her death.

One, sent 11 days after Elsie was placed with the family, described the toddler as having had “a proper diva strop”.

In another, he allegedly called her “a psycho” and described her as “Satan dressed up in a Babygro” to his husband.

The prosecution allege the messages suggest he was “struggling to cope”.

But Craig Scully-Hicks, describing the situation at home after the couple adopted Elsie, told the court she was “great”.

He added: “She was good apart from her sleeping. She liked to nap but she liked to get up again a couple of hours later.”

Neighbours allegedly heard Elsie crying and Matthew Scully-Hicks shouting “shut up, shut up, shut the f*** up”, the court heard.

On one occasion, he allegedly shouted “shut up you little f****** brat”.

Craig Scully-Hicks, who said he spent two to three days a week working away from home, said he had “never” heard his husband refer to Elsie in that way.

Matthew Scully-Hicks denies murder. The trial continues.

Matthew Scully-Hicks outside Cardiff Crown Court

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