Fitness instructor from Cardiff convicted of murdering 18-month-old adopted daughter

A fitness instructor has been convicted of murdering his 18-month-old adopted daughter by violently shaking her and striking her head.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, inflicted a catalogue of injuries - including bruises, a broken leg and a fall down a full flight of stairs - on Elsie in the eight months he had care of her.

She died four days after being violently shaken and sustaining a fractured skull just two weeks after being formally adopted by the defendant and his husband.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, who has been convicted at Cardiff Crown Court of murdering his 18-month-old adopted daughter Elsie. Pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Cardiff Crown Court heard Scully-Hicks, who broke in tears when the verdict was returned, struggled to cope with the toddler and branded her "a psycho", "the exorcist" and "Satan dressed up in a Babygro" in text messages.

Neighbours heard 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.

Undated family handout file photo issued by South Wales Police of Elsie Scully-Hicks. Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, has been convicted at Cardiff Crown Court of murdering his 18-month-old adopted daughter. Pic: Family Handout/PA Wire

Scully-Hicks insisted he never harmed Elsie and claimed she must have spontaneously suffered fatal injuries after he changed her for bed at home in Llandaff, Cardiff, on May 25 last year.

But following the trial lasting more than four weeks, during which 12 medical experts and six doctors gave evidence, jurors unanimously found him guilty of murder.


 

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