A fitness instructor accused of murdering his adopted toddler daughter described her as ‘Satan’ and a ‘diva’ in text messages, a court heard today.
Matthew Scully-Hicks, from Delabole, Cornwall, is on trial accused of killing Elsie Scully-Hicks, who was 18 months old when she died in May 2016.
Today the jury at Cardiff Crown Court was read a number of text messages between Scully-Hicks, 31, and his husband Craig, 36, and friends.
Matthew Scully-Hicks (right) is accused of killing Elsie Scully-Hicks (left), who died last year
In one, Scully-Hicks said: ‘I’m going through hell with Elsie. Mealtimes and bedtimes are like my worst nightmare at the minute.
‘She has been up there screaming for ten minutes non-stop. She’s just stopped but I doubt that’s the last I’ll hear tonight.’
In a message to his husband, Scully-Hicks described Elsie as ‘Satan dressed up in a babygro’ and then added: ‘Elsie has had two nights of being Satan’.
The couple also joked about ‘calling a priest’ for Elsie if she did not stop behaving like Satan, the court heard.
Scully-Hicks said: ‘A priest isn’t a bad shout, I’ll look on Google now. LOL xxx’
He sent another message to his husband, who the court heard was away for work regularly, saying he felt ‘ready to explode, it has been a difficult few days’.
Texts between Scully-Hicks and others
‘I’m going through hell with Elsie. Mealtimes and bedtimes are like my worst nightmare at the minute.
‘ She has been up there screaming for ten minutes non-stop.
‘She’s just stopped but I doubt that’s the last I’ll hear tonight.’
‘It’s a long-standing issue. She wakes up at regular intervals during the night.
‘She just wants to be given her dummy and attention but she has a proper diva strop about it all!
‘We think someone used to bring her downstairs in the middle of the night which we don’t do.
‘She’s pissy because we don’t let her.’
Another message read: ‘It’s a long-standing issue. She wakes up at regular intervals during the night. She just wants to be given her dummy and attention but she has a proper diva strop about it all!
‘We think someone used to bring her downstairs in the middle of the night which we don’t do. She’s pissy because we don’t let her.’
Elsie had been formally adopted by Scully-Hicks and his husband two weeks before she was rushed to hospital after collapsing at home and suffering a cardiac arrest.
She was found to be suffering from three separate areas of subdural bleeding, retinal bleeding in both eyes, a skull fracture and fractures to three ribs and her leg.
The prosecution case is that all of the injuries were inflicted on Elsie, who died on May 29, shortly before her admission to hospital by Scully-Hicks, who denies murder.
A series of medical experts have said the injuries were likely to have been caused by shaking.
Scully-Hicks was formally interviewed by police on June 23 2016 and transcripts of the interview were read to the jury.
Scully-Hicks denies one charge of murder
Asked about Elsie’s behaviour, Scully-Hicks told the officers that she was vocal about the things she wanted and would ‘whinge’ for them.
‘She didn’t tend to scream or anything like that, it was a whinge or a cry,’ he said.
Asked about how he coped caring for Elsie, he said: ‘I never felt like it was consuming me where I thought I could not cope.’
Scully-Hicks added: ‘She was very happy … overall she was a happy little girl.’
The court previously heard Elsie fractured her right leg in two places in November 2015 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.
The court previously heard Elsie’s injuries in May were consistent with her being ‘shaken violently’ and having her head ‘rocked backwards and forwards so that her head was flexed down onto her chest and flexed backwards’.
Scully-Hicks denies one charge of murder. The trial, expected to last five weeks, continues.
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