Elsie Scully-Hicks: Murder trial jury retires to consider verdict

image copyrightFamily photograph
image captionElsie Scully-Hicks died two weeks after being formally adopted

The jury in a trial of a man accused of murdering his 18-month-old adopted baby has retired to consider its verdict.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, Cornwall has denied inflicting catastrophic injuries on baby Elsie at his Cardiff home.

On 25 May 2016 he called 999 and said he had after found her unresponsive on the floor. She died four days later.

A paediatrician told the jury Elsie's injuries were "very typical" of babies who have been shaken.

A CT scan showed she had bleeding on the brain and post-mortem examinations revealed she had also suffered broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull.

There was also haemorrhaging within both of Elsie's retinas - associated with inflicted trauma or injury.

In the months before her death, Mr Scully-Hicks had told his husband and a health visitor a bruise on Elsie's face and leg fracture were caused by falls around the house - but a doctor who examined Elsie after her death said his account was inconsistent with her injuries.

Less than three months before her death Mr Scully-Hicks called 999 and said Elsie had fallen down the stairs after a wooden stair gate accidentally opened when she pulled herself up on it.

image captionMatthew Scully-Hicks has said he does not know how Elsie sustained her fatal injuries

Mr Scully-Hicks told the jury he does not know how Elsie sustained her injuries.

When questioned by police, he said: "I want answers as much as anybody but I cannot accept that the only answer people are giving me is that I have caused these injuries.

"I am not satisfied the medical reports explored everything, they explored one option."

Before sending the jury out, Judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said: "Undisputed in this case are the serious injuries to the head, brain and eyes of Elsie.

"She was just 18 months old. You may think by reason of her age, size and weight she was a vulnerable little child."

The jury were sent home at 16:00 GMT on Wednesday, and will resume deliberations on Thursday morning.

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