Baby died as a result of bleeding on the brain after a blunt injury – cetusnews anoxic brain injury recovery

Elsie scully-hicks (pictured) was labelled ‘satan in a babygro’ by her adoptive father

An 18-year-old baby who was allegedly murdered by her gay adoptive father died as a result of bleeding on the brain caused by a blunt head injury, a court heard today.

Elsie scully-hicks was allegedly labelled ‘satan in a babygro’ by her adoptive father who denies killing her at their home inĀ in llandaff, cardiff, on may 25.

She was formally adopted by matthew scully-hicks, 31, and his husband craig scully-hicks, 36, two weeks before she died.

Matthew scully-hicks from delabole, cornwall, is accused of inflicting serious injuries on the toddler and denies murder.


On tuesday, cardiff crown court heard how elsie was rushed to university hospital of wales after scully-hicks dialled 999 reporting elsie was unresponsive at around 6.20pm.Anoxic brain injury recovery she died in the early hours of may 29.

Pathologist dr stephen leadbeatter carried out the post-mortem examination following her death.

He concluded elsie died from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain following cardiac arrest ‘in a child with acute and chronic subdural haemorrhage’, or bleeding on the brain.

Dr leadbeatter said the cardiac arrest was caused by a blunt head injury including a fracture of the right lambdoid suture – a join in the skull bones.

Examination of elsie’s ribs revealed evidence dr leadbeatter said was ‘suggestive of a healing microfracture’.

He said there were no external injuries apart from a small fading bruise above elsie’s left eye.Anoxic brain injury recovery

Dr leadbeatter said he had not heard of any explanation given by scully-hicks which would explain how elsie’s skull was fractured and why there was bleeding in her eyes.

Consultant paediatric radiologist dr sarah harrison was asked to look at X-rays of elsie’s chest and abdomen after she was hospitalised on may 25 and examined a full skeletal survey carried out after she died.

Matthew scully-hicks (pictured) is accused of inflicting serious injuries on the toddler and denies murder

She told the jury the survey was X-rays of all the bones in the body and showed ‘no abnormality to support evidence of any underlying bone disease that would make her more likely to suffer a fracture than the next child and there was no evidence of fracture either’.Anoxic brain injury recovery

Dr harrison said she noticed a ‘small line’ on an X-ray of elsie’s skull which she believed was an accessory suture – a normal variation in the pattern of joins between skull bones.

Prosecutor paul lewis QC said two pathologists including dr leadbeatter had since examined elsie’s skull and they did find a fracture.

Mr lewis asked if dr harrison was surprised she had not seen it on the X-ray.

Dr harrison said: ‘no I am not surprised. The thing we were looking at was very small and it is difficult to be 100% certain of things when they are quite small.

‘it is well recognised that even when there is a larger fracture we can miss them.’

Dr harrison told jurors she also re-examined an X-ray taken of elsie’s leg on november 12, 2015 when she was taken to hospital having suffered a leg injury a week earlier.Anoxic brain injury recovery

The court previously heard elsie was found to have fractured her leg above her right ankle and was placed in a full-leg cast which she wore for three weeks.

Dr harrison said she found not one fracture but two during her review of the images; the lower leg fracture and a second fracture in elsie’s right femur, just above the knee.

She said they were not ‘toddler’s fractures’, such as might be suffered by a child learning to walk and were more likely to have been caused by a child running and falling with more force.

Mr lewis said: ‘as far as we are aware, the child could not run.’

Scully-hicks (pictured in a court sketch) adoptedĀ elsie with his husband craig scully-hicks

Dr harrison said: ‘it is very unusual to see two fractures in adjacent bones…Anoxic brain injury recovery without evidence of significant trauma… I have never seen fractures of both bones like that in a child of this age.’

Robert O’sullivan QC, defending scully-hicks, asked if the fractures could have been caused by elsie falling and twisting her right leg while pushing a walker.

Dr harrison said she would expect the injuries to have been caused by a ‘significant amount of trauma’ but said if the foot was held ‘perhaps between two objects and then the child twists and falls that fracture could be seen’.

Scully-hicks is also accused of describing elsie as ‘a psycho’ and ‘satan dressed up in a babygro’ in messages to his husband and friends.

Elsie, who was removed from her natural mother within days of her birth in november 2014, went to live with the couple in september 2015.Anoxic brain injury recovery

She fractured her right leg in november that year and suffered bruises to her head in december and january 2016.

On march 10, she was taken to the university hospital of wales after falling down the stairs.

Scully-hicks denies murder and the trial continues.