South East Wales

Elsie Scully-Hicks: Injuries 'consistent with shaking'

Elsie Scully-Hicks Image copyright Family photograph
Image caption Elsie Scully-Hicks died two weeks after being formally adopted

An 18-month-old baby allegedly murdered by her adoptive father had bleeding on the brain consistent with a "shaking type injury", a doctor has told a jury.

Elsie Scully-Hicks died at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales after suffering catastrophic injuries in May 2016, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

She had been rushed to hospital in an unresponsive state and a CT scan showed she had bleeding on the brain.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, Cornwall, denies her murder.

The jury heard Elsie had been rushed to hospital by ambulance after a 999 call was made by Matthew Scully-Hicks on 25 May 2016 saying he had found her unresponsive on the living room floor.

A CT scan was ordered on Elsie and paediatrician Dr Nia John was called from home to see the parents following the results, the court heard.

Dr John, a consultant community paediatrician responsible for child protection, recalled explaining to Matthew Scully-Hicks and his husband Craig that such bleeding on the brain could be an indicator of a non-accidental injury.

She said: "I remember explaining the usual pattern is a shaking type injury."

She said both men had appeared worried and upset, adding: "People are different in these situations".

Image caption Matthew Scully-Hicks denies murder

Earlier on Friday, consultant paediatrician Dr David Tuthill told the jury Matthew Scully-Hicks' behaviour "struck me as very unusual".

He recalled Mr Scully-Hick's husband Craig being "very tearful and upset" but added: "My recollection of him [Matthew Scully-Hicks] was of him being very calm.

"It was something, as I came back down to intensive care, that I said to my nurse practitioner. I said: 'That's strange - he was very calm'.

"Most resuscitations, people are in tears. Parents are normally in floods of tears. It struck me as very unusual. it was very strange and out of the ordinary."

He continued: "People react in different ways. The common way when your child is being resuscitated and dying in front of you is to cry."

On Wednesday, a former neighbour of the Scully-Hicks family, James Bevan, told the jury he heard offensive swear words being shouted at the infant.

Elsie died in the early hours of 29 May 2016, two weeks after being formally adopted.

She had been taken in by the couple eight months previously but in that time had suffered a catalogue of injuries including a fractured ankle and a fall down the stairs.

Medical tests before she died showed she had suffered haemorrhages to her brain.

Post-mortem examinations revealed she had also suffered broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull.

The trial continues.

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