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”.
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.”