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Dad who adopted little Elsie guilty of murdering her

Killer: Matthew by CLAIRE HAYHURST
Scully-Hicks, 31,
violently shook
Elsie and struck
the girl’s head

A FITNESS instructor who inflicted catastrophic injuries on his 18-month-old adopted daughter has been found guilty of murder.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, shook Elsie violently and struck her head causing her to sustain a fractured skull.

She died just two weeks after being formally adopted by the defendant and his husband.

During the eight months he had care of Elsie, she suffered a catalogue of injuries, including bruises and a broken leg and had fallen down a full flight of stairs, Cardiff crown court heard.

Scully-Hicks, who wept 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 him calling her a ‘little f***ing brat’ and a ‘silly little c***’ when she cried.

Tragic: Elsie died just two weeks after being formally adopted PICS: PA

Scully-Hicks claimed Elsie must have spontaneously suffered fatal injuries after he changed her for bed at home in Llandaff, Cardiff, in May last year.

Following the verdict, prosecutor Paul Lewis QC told the court her death was the result of a ‘gross abuse of trust’ by the defendant.

A child practice review is now under way to examine the ‘tragic circumstances’ of Elsie’s death.

Scully-Hicks will be sentenced today.