Dad gets 18 years for killing adopted baby

A father who murdered his daughter two weeks after formally adopting her has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, received a life sentence for violently shaking 18-month-old Elsie Scully-Hicks and striking her head at their home in Llandaff, Cardiff, in May 2016.

Image:Matthew Scully-Hicks in February 2017

He described the toddler as "a psycho", "the exorcist" and "Satan dressed up in a Baby grow" in text messages to friends and family members.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he struggled to cope with being the primary carer for Elsie as his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, 36, worked full-time.

Scully-Hicks denied murder but a jury unanimously convicted him of the charge on Monday following a four-week trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Davies said: "Elsie was aged just 18 months when you killed her, a young, vulnerable and defenceless child.

"She had been entrusted to the care of yourself and your husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, her adoptive fathers.

"Shortly before 18.19pm on 25 May 2016 you inflicted injuries of such severity upon Elsie as to cause her immediate collapse and her death on 29 May."

"The injuries were sustained when you gripped Elsie around the chest, your fingers were on her back exerting pressure which fractured her ribs.

"The fracture to the skull was caused by an impact with a hard surface. Her collapse would have swiftly followed, that having occurred you called the emergency services."

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