A father accused of murdering his adopted 18-month-old daughter gripped and shook her, a court heard on Monday.Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, of Delabole, Cornwall, denies inflicting catastrophic injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks at their Cardiff home.Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC, making his closing speech, argued he “gripped her by the rib cage” and “shook her”.Defence counsel, Robert O’Sullivan QC, told Cardiff Crown Court that the prosecution had not “proved its case”. Mr Lewis said Mr Scully-Hicks claimed Elsie’s injuries “must simply have occurred spontaneously, he says her injuries and death are unexplainable”.He told the jury: “This is for you to decide.”The court heard Elsie Scully-Hicks had been “fit, healthy and well” earlier on the day she was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in May 2016.She had been placed with Mr Scully-Hicks and his husband Craig eight months earlier, a time the prosecution said should have been a “joyous honeymoon period”.Referring to messages the defendant sent describing Elsie as “Satan” and a “psycho” in the weeks after her arrival, Mr Lewis asked the jury whether “they show a loving father, well able to deal with the challenges a new infant brings?”.Two months before her death, Elsie was taken to hospital following an alleged fall down the stairs at the family home. She was discharged later that day. The prosecution said there was “no evidence at all that it had any impact on her – and contributed to her death in any way”.During the defence’s closing speech Mr O’Sullivan argued the lack of explanation for the injuries “does not mean the prosecution has proved its case”.He added that Mr Scully-Hicks “can’t win” regardless of what he says.Mr O’Sullivan told the jury: “If he doesn’t draw attention to the injuries he’s hiding his guilt, if he does then he must be lying. Whatever he does he’s going to be damned.”Matthew Scully-Hicks denies abusing Elsie over several months and causing “catastrophic” injuries on 25 May, four days before she died.The trial is continuing.
Source: Cornish BBC