A man accused of murdering his adopted 18-month-old daughter has told a court he was “not to blame” for her death.Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, Cornwall, denies inflicting catastrophic injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home.He told Cardiff Crown Court he dialled 999 after finding her unresponsive on the living room floor on 25 May 2016.Asked under cross examination how she sustained her fatal injuries, he replied: “I don’t know.”Mr Scully-Hicks told the jury that he had changed Elsie’s nappy on the living room rug and had left the room for about five minutes while he took it out to the kitchen. He said that when he came back into the room, he thought she was asleep. “She didn’t acknowledge me coming into the room which for her was strange,” he said.”I got closer and called her, there was no response. I got down and gave her a gentle tap and there was no response at all so I picked up the phone and called for an ambulance.”Mr Scully-Hicks said he carried out CPR until a police officer arrived and took over, and she was then rushed to hospital.
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She died four days later on 29 May 2016. Paul Lewis QC, for the prosecution, questioned how Elsie had collapsed less than an hour after being “a normal healthy little girl who had walked hand in hand into the lounge”. Mr Scully-Hicks replied: “I don’t know.”When he was asked who could have been responsible for the injuries, he said: “I’m not to blame.”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.Earlier on Wednesday, the court heard Elsie was treated for two breaks in her right leg six months before her death.When asked by defence barrister Robert O’Sullivan if he deliberately caused those injuries, Mr Scully-Hicks responded: “No.” He said he witnessed her fall in the kitchen and immediately went to console her.Elsie sustained a break to her lower femur just above the knee and another in her lower shin.’Really upset’He also said he was not responsible for a bruise Elsie had in December 2015, adding it had been caused when she had banged her head when a magnetic door closure gave way in a play kitchen.He was then asked about an incident on 10 March 2016. He said Elsie fell down the stairs after he failed to lock the safety gate properly while arranging washing in a bedroom at the time.”The next thing I could hear was the gate opening and I turned, then all I could see was her falling through from the top of the stairs,” he said. “I put the washing down and ran out and got to the top of the stairs, and Elsie was tumbling down the stairs.
“I followed her to the bottom and by the time I got there she was leant on the floor looking back at me just motionless. She didn’t respond and didn’t cry, she just lay there.”He described Elsie vomiting and how he was “really upset” while accompanying her to hospital in an ambulance. The court has previously heard her injuries were “very typical” of babies who have been shaken.’First step’Mr Scully-Hicks also told the court: “I always saw a family with two children.” He said he and his husband Craig talked about having a family “pretty early on”, adding: “We were both of the mind we wanted children. It’s something we could agree on very early on.”He added: “We had requested [a baby] as young as possible. We wanted to see and witness as much as we could.”We wanted to be there when they took their first step and wanted to be there when they said their first word – we wanted to see all of that.”The trial continues.
Source: Cornish BBC