Murdered girl’s gran backs calls for review into forced adoption
THE biological grandmother of little Elsie Scully-Hicks has backed a petition calling for a review into forced adoption and fostering.
Sian O’Brien, 51, told the Sun, that killer Matthew Scully-Hicks had “got off lightly” for his crime.
After a court order banning 18-month-old Elsie’s birth family from speaking out was lifted, Ms O’Brien said she was devastated not to be given the chance to adopt her granddaughter, who was originally named Shayla, herself.
Ms O’Brien, who looks after Elsie’s two older siblings, told The Sun: “It’s about justice for Shayla. I think he [Scully-Hicks] has got off quite lightly.”
Elsie was taken into care in November 2014 when she was just five days old.
A petition, which has more than 4,500 signatures, calls on the Government to stage an inquiry into forced adoption and fostering.
The family has now launched legal action against social services in Cardiff.
Ms O’Brien said: “I said to social services, ‘I’ve got Shayla’s brother and sister here with me, why can’t I have Shayla?’
Scully-Hicks, 31, assaulted and abused 18-month-old Elsie over seven months before he violently shook her to death.
The jury of nine men and three women came back with a unanimous verdict.
The toddler died just two weeks after she was formally adopted by fitness instructor Scully-Hicks and his husband Craig, 36.
Scully-Hicks denied murdering little Elsie but was found guilty by a jury after a four-week trial.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the youngster suffered a string of injuries when she was alone with stay-at-home dad Scully-Hicks.
Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said Elsie was found unresponsive by paramedics after Scully-Hicks attacked her at his home in Llandaff, Cardiff, on May 25 last year.
She died at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, after doctors decided she would not survive her traumatic head injuries.
In a victim impact statement released after sentencing, Ms O’Brien said that they were only told about Elsie’s death in January this year – seven months after she had died.
She said: “In itself this was devastating news but to then be informed that one of the parents who had adopted her had been charged with murder and was allegedly responsible for her death was completely incomprehensible.
“A person who had been deemed by the authorities to be a fit and proper person to bring up my granddaughter was responsible for her death, and they took her from me telling me I would be unable to cope.”
She added that they had never given up hope of being reunited with Elsie.
Elsie Scully-Hicks was murdered by her adoptive dad