The report into the death of little Elsie describes how  the “professionals”  dealt with the case, placed the baby for adoption  but then  failed to react to the series of injuries which she suffered at the hands of one of her adoptive “parents” – Matthew Scully-Hicks

Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies has said that Matthew Scully-Hicks – who was allowed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to adopt an 18-month-old girl –  “should never have been allowed anywhere near a vulnerable child – let alone a baby”.

Mr Davies, who is Conservative Assembly Member for South Wales Central (which includes Penarth)  has been commenting on an official report issued  this week into the case of little Elsie Scully Hicks (See PDN report https://tinyurl.com/yav2ftg4)

In 2015 the Vale of Glamorgan Council had allowed the 18-month-old baby to be adopted by gay health instructor Matthew Scully-Hicks and his “husband”  just  2 weeks before she died in agony with multiple injuries. Scully Hicks was jailed for murder. His partner was exonerated and faced no charges.

Earlier this week the Cardiff and Vale Regional Safeguarding Board under the auspices of the Welsh Labour Government published an extended “Child Practice Review” into the circumstances of the death of Elsie Scully-Hicks .

The review has found there was no information during the assessment of the adoptive parents that could or would have predicted what happened to Elsie. However the report says  “the professionals working with the child did not either consider or raise the possibility that the child was being harmed by a parent”.

Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies

Andrew R T Davies describes“deeply alarming” the review’s key conclusion that the  murder of Elsie could have been prevented. 

Cardiff and the Vale’s Regional Safeguarding Children Board found that there were “missed opportunities” by social services in the Vale of Glamorgan to intervene – and that professionals “failed to see a pattern emerging” with the injuries Elsie had suffered.

It has been confirmed that no action has been taken against social workers following these failings – something Mr Davies warns will  “repulse many people”.

Mr Davies said, “It is deeply alarming that Elsie’s tragic death has been found to have been preventable – and the fact no one has been disciplined will repulse many people. The evidence is compelling – and it is clear that Matthew Scully-Hicks should never have been allowed near a vulnerable child – leave alone a baby.”

Mr Davies says “It is vital these mistakes are learned from so that something as sickening as this can never be allowed to happen again.

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  1. Phil Nedin says:

    Hindsight is the only real clarity!

  2. johnpowell says:

    How wise he is – with hindsight.
    This sort of thing is exactly why he was unfit to have national standing as a politician.

  3. Richard Williams says:

    In 2015 confidential information about adoption was known only to the Vale of Glamorgan Council – and at the time the Vale Council was run by Labour.

    • Phil Nedin says:

      Was that information related to this specific case?
      I would think that confidentiality is essential during the general adoption process. Unless of course you are suggesting that the Vale Council knew that Scully-Hicks and his partner was unfit yet somehow the adoption was still granted. Is that your point?

  4. Moreton Vallance says:

    Should gay ‘couples’ be allowed to adopt? What sort of life is the child going to have? ‘You have a mother and father’ . . . I have two mothers, or two fathers . . . it’s not actually normal, is it?

    • whatsoccurin says:

      Would not question the normality of it but there is an acute need for adopters of “special needs” children,whilst adopters are queuing up to adopt young children like Elsie,sometimes having to wait months or years for a match-this placement occurred about a month after approval of adopters and within a few weeks Scully-Hicks was sending out signals that he could not cope-it all seemed very hasty-perhaps the Vale had a “diversity box” they needed to tick.!

      • Moreton Vallance says:

        For me . . . call me old-fashioned, it is not normal, and should not be allowed. How is that child going to grow up? How is the child going to feel when he/she discovers he/she is very, very different from all of her/his friends? Not normal . . . by any stretch . . .

    • David Ashton says:

      You are old fashioned.

    • Lou says:

      The NSPCC has identified 6,000 children physically abused by adults, usually their parents, in one year. Probably the tip of the iceberg. In the overwhelming majority of cases the parents are in a heterosexual relationship. The sexual orientation of the parents has no bearing on the likelihood of abuse or the quality of parenting.

  5. Richard Jones says:

    Having been the chair of an adoption panel, in my experience it is very rare for a male gay couple to adopt a female baby. In fact, I never came across such a case. As far as I can see, no explanation has been given to explain why this unusual placement decision was made, especially as there in an abundance of heterosexual couples wishing to adopt.

Comments are closed.