Local News

Father accused of brutally murdering daughter just two weeks after finalising her adoption

The new dad was heard on multiple occasions screaming at the toddler before she sustained fatal head injuries.

By Kate Wagner
A father is accused of brutally murdering his adopted daughter after suggesting to friends he was “struggling to cope”, a court has heard.
Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, was allegedly heard on multiple occasions screaming at the 18-month-old to “shut up you little f*ing brat” before she died of a brain haemorrhage.
Scully-Hicks and his husband had been caring for Elsie for the last eight months and had formally adopted her just two weeks before she died from severe head injuries, a jury heard.
The part-time fitness instructor sent text messages complaining about Elsie’s “diva strops”.
He also wrote: “I’m going through hell with Elsie! Mealtimes and bedtimes are like my worst nightmare at the minute.
“She’s been up there screaming for ten minutes non-stop. She’s just stopped but I doubt that’s the last I’ll hear tonight.”
The new dad also described his toddler as “a psycho”.
Days before her death, Elsie had suffered several broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull, the court heard.
The toddler had bleeding on both sides of her brain and jurors were told there was evidence of both recent and older brain haemorrhages.
Before her death, the Welsh man was asked by a friend how his day had been and he replied: “Yo yo well on the whole it was OK. Minus lunch and tea time when she turned into Satan. Then again at bedtime she screamed in her cot for ten minutes.”
Neighbours told the court they would often hear Scully-Hicks shouting at his crying child: “shut up, shut up, shut the f-- up”, and on one occasion, “shut up you little f-ing brat”, and “shut up you silly little c --”.
Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said: “Within two weeks of Elsie’s formal adoption by the couple, we allege that the defendant had inflicted fatal injuries upon her.”
Mr Lewis said the toddler’s fractures were consistent with being “gripped and violently shaken”.
Elsie had been removed from her drug-addicted mum days after she was born, and placed with the Scully-Hickses when she was ten-months-old in September 2015.
The couple was married in Portugal in 2012 and the defendant gave up work to be a full-time dad while his husband continued his job as a company director.