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Man who murdered his adopted baby daughter jailed for 18 years

Matthew Scully-Hicks was yesterday convicted of murdering his 18-month-old daughter Elsie, just two weeks after formally adopting her.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, pictured at Cardiff Crown Court in February of this year Source: PA Archive/PA Images

A MAN CONVICTED of murdering his 18-month-old adopted baby daughter in Wales has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

31-year-old Matthew Scully-Hicks had yesterday been unanimously convicted of murdering his daughter Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home in May 2016, just two weeks after adopting her with his husband.

The trial had previously heard how Scully-Hicks told a 999 call operator on 25 May 2016 that he had been changing Elisa’s nappy and found her “limp and floppy” on the floor.

She was rushed to hospital but died four days later due to her injuries.

A medical examination showed that she had suffered injuries to her brain and eyes, which was considered to be consistent with being gripped and violently shaken.

The judge in the case, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, described the killing today as ‘a gross abuse of trust’.

She said that the murder occurred between meal time and bed time, a time when Elsie was known to cry, according to The Guardian.

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“It was Elsie’s behaviour, your frustration with it which turned to anger, which led you to inflict the serious injuries which swiftly led to her collapse,” the judge said.

The force which you used in gripping Elsie was sufficient to cause the fractures of the ribs, the shaking sufficient to cause severe brain and eye injury.
In deliberately inflicting serious injuries upon your 18-month-old adoptive daughter you abused the trust which had been placed in you as Elsie’s adoptive father. It was a gross abuse of that trust.

A child practice review is now under way, according to the BBC, to determine whether or not Matthew Scully-Hicks’ predisposition towards violent behaviour could have been identified after an earlier injury was inflicted in November 2015, which meant that child protection measures were not triggered by his efforts to adopt.

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