1. ITV Report

Scully-Hicks: baby Elsie died from a blunt head injury according to pathologist

An 18-month old girl allegedly murdered by her father died as a result of blunt head injury and a fractured skull, a pathologist has said.

Elsie Scully-Hicks was adopted by Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31 and his husband Craig Scully-Hicks, two weeks before she died in May 2016.

Matthew Scully-Hicks from Delabole, Cornwall is accused of inflicting serious injuries on the toddler at the couple's home in Llandaff, Cardiff on May, 25.

He denies murder.

18-month old Elsie died in the early hours of May, 29. Credit: South Wales Police

Today Cardiff Crown Court heard how Elsie was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales after Matthew Scully-Hicks called 999 reporting Elsie unresponsive at around 6:20pm.

She died in the early hours of May, 29.

Pathologist Dr Stephen Leadbeatter carried out the post-mortem examination and concluded, that Elsie died from a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain after cardiac arrest in a child with bleeding on the brain.

He said the cardiac arrest was caused by a blunt head injury including a fracture to a join in the skull bones. He also found evidence of a 'healing microfracture' on Elsie's ribs and a small fading bruise above her left eye.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31 denies murder. Credit: Wales News Service

Consultant paediatric radiologist Dr Sarah Harrison looked at X-Rays and a skeletal survey of Elsie. She told the jury the survey showed 'no abnormality to support evidence of any underlying bone disease' that would make Elsie more likely to suffer a fracture than the next child and there was no evidence of fracture either.

She said she noticed a "small line" on an X-Ray of Elsie's skull which she believed was a normal variation in the pattern of joins between skull bones.

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. She found two fractures which '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'.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said: 'As far as we are aware, the child could not run.'

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.'

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.

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