Tragic Elsie smiles for the camera in family photo

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This is the first picture of an 18-month-old girl allegedly murdered by her adoptive father.

Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is accused of inflicting serious injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks before her death in May 2016.

Elsie had been formally adopted by Scully-Hicks and his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, 36, just two weeks earlier.

Scully-Hicks, from Delabole, Cornwall, denies murdering her at the couple’s home in Llandaff, Cardiff, on May 29.

The photo shows blonde Elsie wearing a white jumper and grinning at the camera.

Matthew Scully-Hicks is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court
Matthew Scully-Hicks is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court where he denies murder (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Cardiff Crown Court has heard that Scully-Hicks called 999 at 6.18pm on May 25, reporting that he had found the toddler unresponsive at home.

Paramedics and police arrived at the property at 6.26pm. Elsie was not breathing and had no pulse.

Stephen Clee, a paramedic, told the court in a statement: “The father appeared to be distressed and crying.

“I didn’t receive any information from the child’s father as to what had occurred or any recent illnesses.

“I didn’t have any conversation with the father.”

The jury has heard that Scully-Hicks claimed he had changed Elsie and gone to the kitchen to dispose of her nappy.

When he returned, he believed she was asleep but called 999 after realising she was not breathing.

Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court (Antony Stone/PA)

Paramedic Jonathan Aberg said Elsie was “lifeless” and “a little blue” when he arrived at the property.

The little girl was taken to the paediatric intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Wales, arriving at 6.53pm.

Reading from his notes, Mr Aberg said: “Dad reported child screamed out as in pain and collapsed. Called 999. CPR commenced.”

Jurors have previously been told that Scully-Hicks never repeated this to his husband, police or doctors.

Elsie died at the hospital in the early hours of May 29.

Tests found evidence of both recent and older bleeding in her brain, and haemorrhages in front of her eyes.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered several broken ribs, a fractured left femur and a fractured skull.

Two neighbours told the court on Wednesday that Scully-Hicks would shout and swear at Elsie when she cried.

But they added that they had no concerns over her welfare.

On Tuesday, Craig Scully-Hicks, an account manager, insisted their home was “filled with love and happiness all the time”.

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.

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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