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Magdelena LUCZAK

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Child abuse - Starvation - Torture (imprisoned the little boy in a locked box room, force-fed him salt and held him underwater in a bath until he was unconscious)
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 3, 2012
Date of arrest: 3 days after
Date of birth: 1986
Victim profile: Daniel Pelka, 4 (her son)
Method of murder: Died from a brain injury after months of being starved
Location: Coventry, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years on August 1, 2013
 
 

 
 

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Daniel Pelka murder: Mother and partner given life

BBC.co.uk

August 2, 2013

The mother of Daniel Pelka and her partner have been jailed for life for the four-year-old's murder.

Magdelena Luczak, 27, and Mariusz Krezolek, 34, must serve a minimum of 30 years each for what the judge called their "incomprehensible brutality".

Luczak and Krezolek blamed each other for killing Daniel who died from a head injury in March 2012.

Daniel, who had also been starved by the pair, weighed just over a stone and a half when he died.

'Campaign of cruelty'

At Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Mrs Justice Cox told Luczak and Krezolek, who lived in Coventry, they had "caused [Daniel] severe physical and mental suffering".

She said Daniel's punishments were "designed to humiliate" and that he was "a victim of chronic and systematic starvation" in a "campaign of cruelty".

Mrs Justice Cox said: "Complicity in ill treatment started with a broken arm when he was just three and a half.

"What was handed out to Daniel was incomprehensible brutality by both of you."

He was also subjected to cold water punishment.

"We will never know exactly what form it took because you have not explained it - he must have been absolutely terrified," Mrs Justice Cox said.

The pair "constructed a careful and wholly untruthful account" that Daniel had a serious eating disorder and learning difficulties, for which he was receiving medical treatment.

"This account was deliberately designed to prevent interference by school, medical and welfare personnel, and to perpetuate the brutality being meted out to him."

The judge said Luczak and Krezolek "instructed and encouraged" Daniel's sibling to tell lies to the authorities if they "were asked any questions about what was happening at home".

'Failings'

The judge said the level of culpability of Luczak and Krezolek was "extremely high" and that there was "minimal mitigation in this case".

Stephen Linnehan, representing Luczak, told the court she had come to "this country in search of a better life" and "has now lost everything".

Krezolek's barrister told the court he did not have the intention to kill and was "deeply ashamed" of his conduct [towards Daniel].

Speaking to BBC News in Poland after the pair were sentenced, Luczak's mother, Jolanta, said she was shocked but questioned the extent of her daughter's role in the abuse.

She said: "I don't know how guilty she is. She was under his [Krezolek's] influence but also England - the British state - are responsible.

"How could they have not seen what was going on, I don't understand it.

"The sentence should include them.

"She was a normal girl, we were a normal family. It wouldn't have happened in Poland."

She added her husband died of a heart attack last year - caused by the tragedy.

"I lost my grandson, then I lost my husband and now my daughter," she said.

"Will I see [my daughter] before I die?"

Daniel's death is the subject of a serious case review by Coventry's Safeguarding Children Board and a report is due to be published in the next six weeks.

The review will look at what was done by police and social services after staff at Daniel's school - Coventry Little Heath Primary School - noticed bruising on his neck and what appeared to be two black eyes.

'Very difficult case'

Speaking to BBC News, Amy Weir, the independent chair of the board said: "Clearly there were failings in Daniel's case and the serious case review is looking at why systems that are in place were not used."

Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, has called for children's services director Colin Green to resign now, rather than in September as planned.

He added Daniel was "badly let down" not just by "an evil stepfather and an indifferent and selfish mother" but also by his school, health professionals and social services.

"Those who failed Daniel must examine their own consciences, and conclude whether it is appropriate for them to remain in their posts."

Nushra Mansuri, from the British Association of Social Workers said it was "absolutely right" that they got the minimum term of 30 years.

"There are very few words we can use to describe his [Daniel's] experience.

"The next stage will be the case review, when we may get details on what was missed by agencies and this will be critical.

"I wish that we could have a completely infallible system but that is not possible.

"We can look at cases like Daniel's, but we cannot give a cast-iron guarantee that mistakes will never be made.

"I agree it is difficult to see how he could slip through the system and that is why we need to examine the decision taken."

Senior crown prosecutor, Lisa Windridge, said: "We hope that the sentence today brings closure to this case to the family of Daniel both in this country and in Poland.

"This has been a very difficult case for all of those involved with it and we are pleased that justice has finally been achieved for Daniel Pelka."


'She was a normal girl': Grandmother of Daniel Pelka DEFENDS murdering daughter as she blames everyone but the woman who killed her own son

By Claire Ellicott, Simon Tomlinson and Matt Chorley DailyMail.co.uk

August 1, 2013

The grandmother of murdered schoolboy Daniel Pelka today spoke out to defend her daughter saying social services should be blamed for his death.

Jolanta Luczak said the four-year-old's mother Magdelena Luczak, 27, was a 'really normal girl' despite the fact that she is facing a lengthy prison term along with her partner Mariusz Krezolek.

Speaking from her home in Lodz, Poland, Mrs Luczak told Sky News: 'I don't know who influenced her.

'I don’t know what kind of man she met, what she did, what she was thinking but please tell the judge that she was a really normal girl.

'Social services should also be held responsible because they also failed the test.'

Luczak, 27, and Krezolek, 34, are facing life sentences for murdering the four-year-old Coventry schoolboy who was systematically starved under the noses of his teachers and health professionals.

Geoffrey Robinson, MP for Coventry North West, said Daniel was 'badly let down' not just by 'an evil stepfather and an indifferent and selfish mother' but also by his school, health professionals and social services.

He called for children’s services director Colin Green to resign now, rather than in September as planned, saying: 'He takes with him the indelible stain of Daniel’s cruel death, which his department had failed to prevent.'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that Daniel's 'vile, evil murder' should be 'on all of our consciences'.

Jurors took less than four hours to unanimously convict Luczak and Krezolek following a nine-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

They battered Daniel to death after a six-month campaign of cruelty in which he was denied food, 'imprisoned' in a locked box room and force-fed salt.

The pair, both originally from Poland, also forced Daniel to perform arduous punishment exercises such as squats or running, while hoodwinking teachers and doctors into believing his weight loss was due to an eating disorder.

Mr Robinson said: 'How can the staff at the school attended by Daniel have failed to have recognised patterns of behaviour that should have set alarm bells ringing, not only within the school but within the corridors of power within the Council House?

'How could anyone believe it to be normal for a child to climb on the top of furniture to get to food; to scavenge around bins to access waste; and to steal food from the lunch-boxes?

'What human being, with the slightest understanding of children, would not have been concerned enough to take action to set alarm bells ringing?

'Where were these individuals when Daniel needed them most? Bureaucracy triumphed over common sense, care, and compassion.

'Those who failed Daniel must examine their own consciences, and conclude whether it is appropriate for them to remain in their posts.'

Speaking on LBC 97.3 radio, Mr Clegg said: 'Clearly people must have seen something was wrong with this boy. I think his death should be on all of our consciences.'

Asked what the Government could do in response, Mr Clegg said: 'What we have done already is get rid of a lot of the complexity and bureaucracy that we worry might have meant that cases were not picked up earlier.

'We’ve simplified the way in which child protection is organised.'

Mr Clegg said an independent person would be named as soon as possible to hold a serious case review into Daniel’s death, which would play 'a disproportionately important role in showing what more we need to do to make sure that people don’t fall between the cracks'.

Last night, it emerged that Krezolek is a wanted criminal in his homeland, while Luczak was a drug addicted prostitute.

They have both been found guilty of the horrific murder of Luczak's son Daniel, who resembled a ‘concentration camp victim’ when he died following an ‘incomprehensible’campaign of cruelty carried out by the evil pair.

Krezolek moved to Britain in 2006 despite the fact that Polish police were hunting him after he violated the terms of his suspended sentence.

‘He is a wanted man,’ a police source said. ‘He breached the terms of his sentence.’

Krezolek’s sister also revealed that he was a violent criminal who was booted out of the army for attacking a fellow recruit.

Speaking from their family home in a village near Wroclaw in South West Poland where she still lives, she also told the Mail that her brother terrorised her when she was growing up.

Asking not to be named, she said: ‘My brother is on a wanted list in Poland. He has brought public shame on the family.

‘He was in the army and got into a fight and the person he beat up ended up in hospital and he ended up in a martial court. He was punished for it.

‘When I was 18 and he was 15 he used to beat me up. It is horrible for me to talk about this.

‘Nobody wants to hear their brother was involved in the death of a child, but I’m not going to defend him. Never in my life would I ever leave my children with him.’

She added that he was a heavy drinker who regularly used amphetamines and the police and local prosecutors were regular visitors to the family home.

Krezolek’s other sister, who lives nearby and also asked not to be named, said: ‘I have no brother.’

Krezolek met Luczak in England after she left her life in a concrete housing estate in the run-down city of Lodz in central Poland.

Her mother Yolanta was described by neighbours as anxious and highly-strung. They added that she used to beat her daughter.

Her father Witold – who was rarely at home – worked as a driver while her mother raised the children in the tiny flat.

Neighbours told how the family of seven had not paid rent for 24 years for their pokey three-bed council apartment in a towering high-rise block.

Luczak’s younger sister said her mother had been worried for her grandson’s safety when she visited two weeks before his death.

The mother-of-two, who lives in Lodz and asked not to be identified, said: ‘My mother went to England to visit Magda two weeks before Daniel died and came back with terrible stories.

‘She said “Something terrible is happening in that house. Magda is being terrorised by Mariusz. Something very bad is happening in that house”.

‘It’s my sister’s fault that she did not react when her son was in danger. She has responsibility for what happened.’

Luczak’s mother Yolanta told the Mail her husband had died as a result of the stress of seeing his daughter charged with the murder of his grandson.

She said: ‘Mariusz doesn’t deserve to walk on this earth. I’m in no state to talk about this, my life is full of tragedy.’

As a girl, blonde-haired Luczak dreamed of being the next Emma Bunton and belted out Spice Girls songs at the top of her voice.

‘But just a few years later, she was caking her face in make-up, wearing expensive clothes and being picked up by strange men late at night.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: ‘The same car would drop her off in the morning and pick her up at night and we thought the driver was probably her pimp.’

Another neighbour added: ‘Magda had a very difficult childhood because her mother was aggressive.’

Last night, Daniel’s natural father, lorry driver Eryk Pelka, said: ‘I feel hate towards Magda. I hope she will never come out of jail. I had very limited access to Daniel once I returned to Poland. Every time I rang Magda would make excuses.’

Polish police said Krezolek has two drink driving convictions for which he received a suspended sentence and a driving ban and four convictions for driving while disqualified.


Innocently running after the mother who would murder him: Haunting final image of boy, four, starved and beaten to death by parents as authorities looked the other way

  • Daniel Pelka of Coventry died after suffering massive blow to the head

  • Magdalena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek found guilty of murdering him

  • Daniel forced to scavenge food from school bins in final weeks of life

  • He arrived at school with black eye and looked 'like a bundle of bones'

  • Broken arm suffered 14 months before he died was investigated by police

  • But despite looking 'like an old man' and often injured he was not saved

  • Schoolboy's biological father says he hopes the boy's killers rot in jail

By Claire Ellicott, Andy Dolan and Rob Cooper - DailyMail.co.uk

July 31, 2013

A series of appalling blunders by police, social workers, teachers and NHS staff allowed a boy of four to be starved, tortured and beaten to death by his mother and her lover.

Daniel Pelka resembled a ‘concentration camp victim’ and weighed less than a toddler when he died following an ‘incomprehensible’ campaign of cruelty carried out by the evil pair.

‘Callous and wretched’

Magdalena Luczak, 27, and stepfather Mariusz Krezolek, 34, imprisoned the little boy in a locked box room, force-fed him salt and held him underwater in a bath until he was unconscious.

They also hoodwinked the authorities who then missed crucial opportunities to save the boy who had been starved for six months.

Yesterday neither Luczak nor Krezolek showed any emotion as the jury found them guilty of murdering the boy.

Daniel was a ‘bag of bones’ when he died, despite the fact that teachers had seen him stealing food from bins.

And social services closed the file on him even after the couple waited 12 hours to take him to hospital with a broken arm. Following the trial, it emerged:

  • Police, social services, school staff and NHS workers missed countless opportunities to intervene and yet not one professional has faced disciplinary action,

  • A serious case review has been launched into their failure to prevent his death,

  • Daniel’s factory worker stepfather is a wanted criminal in Poland who will be jailed if he ever returns to his homeland,

  • His drug-taking mother was thought to be a prostitute in Poland,

During the nine-week trial, Birmingham Crown Court heard how Daniel was systematically starved, tortured, force-fed salt and locked in a home-made cell in Coventry for days.

He was so frightened of Krezolek – who forced him to perform punishment exercises such as squat thrusts – that he would wet himself when spoken to by an adult man.

By the time he died a few months short of his fifth birthday he weighed 1st 9lbs, the same as an 18-month-old child.

He also stood 3ft 3inches tall, six inches smaller than the average. His body bore 30 separate injuries, including the fatal bleed on his brain caused by a violent assault to the head.

Police never established which of the pair delivered the blow, but Daniel spent his final hours locked in his cell on the mattress he was forced to use as a bed and toilet.

By the time Luczak made a ‘staged’ 999 call on March 3 last year, two days after the assault, he had been dead for a few hours.

Luczak and Krezolek were arrested two days later after a post mortem examination found Daniel died from a large subdural haematoma.

When the couple’s computer was examined, 55 internet searches including ‘table salt overdose’, ‘when a child stops responding’ and ‘patient in a coma’ had been made.

Krezolek, who was described as a ‘monster’ in court, also admitted that he went online to check his bank account and the price of car tyres after the assault.

Birmingham Crown Court also heard that the couple had sex just hours before they were arrested. Luczak later accused Krezolek of raping her.

But days later she was observed holding and stroking her lover’s hand in the dock of Coventry magistrates' court as the pair appeared charged with murder.

In court, the couple both denied muirder and blamed each other for his death, with Luczak claiming Krezolek attacked Daniel after he wet the bed and Krezolek saying he was injured in a series of falls.

But prosecutor Jonas Hankin, QC, said a series of sickening texts in Polish between the pair showed the extent to which they acted as a ‘team’ to abuse the boy.

At the time of the abuse, Krezolek and Luczak were both drinking heavily and taking drugs, including cannabis and amphetamines.

The court heard how the couple managed to trick officials into believing that Daniel was suffering from a genetically inherited eating disorder which left him permanently hungry.

His teacher Lisa Godfrey described seeing him scavenging in classmates’ lunchboxes for food and likened his gaunt appearance to that of a ‘leukaemia’ sufferer.

Witnesses said he was ‘disappearing’ inside his school uniform and looked ‘desperate and lonely’. By then, he had been reduced to looking in playground bins.

The pair told the school that he should not be fed as it would interfere with the medication for the fictional condition, so staff locked up the other children’s lunchboxes.

But despite their concerns and suspicions – especially after teaching staff saw him with bruising to his neck and black eyes – nothing was done.

Police were also aware of both defendants and attended the couple’s home at least three times in the year before Daniel’s murder.

Social services had become involved after the couple waited 12 hours to take Daniel to hospital when he broke his arm.

Prosecutors believe Krezolek broke Daniel’s arm ‘clean in half’, but the couple said he had fallen off a sofa.

The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Inspector Chris Hanson, said: ‘Those with the ultimate duty of care turned Daniel from a beautiful and bright-eyed little boy into a broken bag of bones.

'They left him, starving, locked in a room in the dark to die on his own.’

Peter Wanless of the NSPCC, said: ‘Once again crucial questions need to be asked about how a youngster slipped through the child protection net with the most catastrophic of consequences.’

A serious case review into the tragedy, commissioned by Coventry Safeguarding Children’s Board, is due to be completed in September.

The couple are expected to be sentenced tomorrow.

The 999 call that came too late: How Daniel's mother and stepfather failed to act

By the time Mariusz Krezolek summoned urgent medical help by dialling 999 at 3.07am on March 3 last year, Daniel Pelka was already dead.

Although paramedics arrived just seven minutes later and made efforts to revive Daniel, they immediately noticed his emaciated body was cold to the touch and that his lips were blue.

A 10-strong medical team attempted to resuscitate the boy at Coventry's University Hospital before death was formally pronounced at 3.50am.

But detectives and medical professionals are sure Daniel had died before the emergency services were alerted - and that the 999 call featuring Krezolek and then Magdelena Luczak was a cruel and heartless sham.

After taking over the call from Krezolek, Daniel's mother gave details of his condition which were obviously bogus given the brain injury he was later found to have suffered.

Luczak can be heard crying and giving her partner instructions in Polish on the 999 recording.

In the first of a litany of lies to the authorities about the death, Luczak told the operator: 'He started feeling very bad today.'

After asserting that Daniel had 'complained of pain' and nothing more, Luczak added: 'He's stopped breathing, please help me.'

Commenting on the emergency call, Detective Inspector Chris Hanson, who oversaw the murder inquiry, said: 'I have listened to lots of 999 calls over the years because a basic line of inquiry when a child has died is to listen to the 999 tapes because you can hear some very significant comments in the background.

'Very often you find that you can't understand what (parents) are saying because they are so anxious they're screaming for help.

'This was different because it was rather more calculated and sounded rather more coached.

'Straightaway I just felt: "that's not true, that's been staged if you like".

'I thought this is very different, it doesn't sound right - and it's been proved it wasn't.'

An overpowering stepfather who used Polish Army experience to speed boy’s starvation

Bull-necked Mariusz Krezolek used his experience of a year in the Polish Army to devise punishment exercises he knew would hasten Daniel Pelka's emaciation.

The powerfully-built plasterer, who worked in an automotive plant while living in Coventry, forced his starving stepson to use precious calories performing squats and other energy-sapping drills.

Also a trained brick-layer, Krezolek once told a work colleague that Daniel was 'retarded' and should be sent back to his biological father in Poland.

Krezolek, who boasted at work about having served jail sentences for driving offences, told the colleague in the summer of 2011: 'It's not even worth beating him because he won't feel pain as he's autistic.'

In other disturbing comments, Krezolek also informed the same work-mate that Daniel was 'all f***** up' and 'a very bad person'.

Born in the small town of Trzebnica in south-western Poland in June 1979, Krezolek showed not a shred of remorse during 17 hours and six minutes in the witness box.

The former soldier was accused of faking tears and even grinned in the absence of the jury as he sought to minimise his role during five days of testimony.

In his at times heart-breakingly callous account, Daniel's stepfather admitted he would not have subjected a child of his own to the punishments and cruelties Daniel was forced to endure.

On his fourth day in the witness box, Krezolek appeared to take pleasure from confirming he and Luczak had sex on the eve of their arrest, two nights after Daniel died.

The following exchange then took place between Krezolek - who said Daniel had been 'pushed to the back burner' - and prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC.

Mr Hankin: 'I am interested to know how you were able to treat a little boy in the way that you did, was it because he was not your own flesh and blood?'

Krezolek: 'It happened because I simply wanted to satisfy Magda.'

Mr Hankin: 'You had no respect for Daniel as a human being did you?

Krezolek: 'I did.'

Mr Hankin: 'When was the last time you cuddled him?'

Krezolek: 'I cannot remember. He simply didn't come for cuddling.'

Mr Hankin: 'You have told the jury that little boy lived in the shadow of alcoholism and violence. Who in the quiet periods needed care more than Daniel?'

Krezolek: 'Of course it was needed for Daniel more than anyone else but it was the arguments that made a man simply think about something else.'

Mr Hankin: 'When was the last time in life you tucked him into bed?'

Krezolek: 'I cannot remember.'

Mr Hankin: 'Read him a bed-time story?'

Krezolek: 'I cannot remember.'

Mr Hankin: 'When did you bathe him?'

Krezolek: 'I cannot remember.'

Mr Hankin: 'When was the last time in life you played with him?'

Krezolek: 'I cannot remember.'

Mr Hankin: 'This is a little boy who had been in your life for two years and you can't remember when you last tucked him in, read him a story or bathed him, or even played with him. You didn't have his best interests at heart did you?'

Krezolek: 'I think you're right. Not because I didn't want to but because my head was occupied with something else.'

Several jurors shook their heads in apparent disbelief as Krezolek again appeared to feign distress as he was shown haunting black-and-white CT scan images of Daniel's body.

Mr Hankin asked Krezolek how he could look at the deeply distressing scans without remorse.

After Krezolek claimed he was 'truly sorry' for what had happened to his stepson, Mr Hankin told him: 'You cry for yourself Mr Krezolek and not Daniel.'

The evil mother who put love of drugs, alcohol and vile boyfriend before Daniel’s basic needs

Magdelena Luczak put her use of cannabis, amphetamines and alcohol, and her 'intense' love for Mariusz Krezolek, before even the most basic needs of her four-year-old son.

Despite presenting herself in court as a fearful victim of her violent partner, Luczak was the driving force behind the cover-up which kept Daniel Pelka's plight hidden from the authorities.

Tellingly, Luczak held hands with Krezolek across the lap of a police officer at Coventry Magistrates' Court just four days after Daniel's death.

Luczak appeared at ease in the dock as she and Krezolek used their thumbs to stroke each other's hands for around 20 minutes, giving the lie to her claim to be terrified of him.

A superior command of English compared with Krezolek meant Luczak was in demand to fill out benefit claim forms for Polish friends - and able to tell health workers Daniel was being given cereal in the morning, Polish stew at tea-time, and supper before going to bed.

Witnesses told the trial Luczak was aggressive towards professionals, particularly the doctors who called in social services after Daniel suffered a broken arm 14 months before his murder.

Said by her sister to be a heavy abuser of alcohol who became argumentative and sometimes violent in drink, Luczak was noted by friends to have an almost obsessive interest in her appearance.

The former cleaning worker used a dietary supplement designed to ensure her hair and nails remained healthy - at a time when Daniel's bones had stopped growing due to his needless malnutrition.

Born and raised in Lodz, the third largest city in Poland, Luczak worked as a cleaner and at a Parcelforce depot after settling in Coventry in February 2006.

Luczak, who had three previous troubled relationships with men her sister said were 'not good for her' before meeting Krezolek, told her trial she was at a loss to explain why she allowed her partner to deprive Daniel of food.

In evidence which the Crown said was simply an attempt to deflect blame onto Krezolek, Luczak, alleged that Daniel was mistreated for around five months before being beaten around the head by her partner, who then tried to strangle her.

But she admitted keeping the abuse secret - and passing up 16 opportunities to alert health and other professionals to the abuse between February 9, 2011 and February 7, 2012.

During her trial, Luczak was asked by Krezolek's barrister why she had not taken Daniel to a doctor as he lost weight.

Luczak replied: 'Because Daniel would always have a lot of bruises. I tried to make it secret, what was happening to him - that is why I didn't go to the doctor's.'

Krezolek's QC, Nigel Lambert, then demanded of Luczak: 'Why on earth would you do that to your son?'

Speaking through a Polish interpreter, Luczak answered: 'I don't know ... I don't understand my behaviour.

'It wasn't me, it was Mariusz but I knew what was happening.

'I myself don't understand my actions. I must have loved Mariusz to allow such a thing.'

Bizarrely, given her treatment of Daniel and the 'foul' conditions in his room, Luczak kept the other parts of her home spotless.

Detective Inspector Chris Hanson, who led the murder inquiry, recalls that several plug-in air fresheners located throughout the house had been set to the highest setting as the couple supposedly grieved for Daniel.

Other items had been hidden from police and it is thought the air fresheners were an attempt to hide the smell from Daniel's room.

'On the outside, they did portray this normal household - the father going to work, mum looking after Daniel, but actually in reality we now know what was going on,' Mr Hanson added.

'It shows how sophisticated the conspiracy was to conceal what they were doing to Daniel from the authorities and everybody else.'

A boy who was reduced to a 'bag of bones': The catalogue of missed chances to save Daniel


In the months before his murder Daniel Pelka arrived at school with black eyes and a broken arm but chances to save him were still missed.

The four-year-old, who was systematically starved and beaten in a case of 'incomprehensible' cruelty, was even described as a 'bag of bones' and caught stealing food from bins and other pupils.

But despite his intolerable suffering he still died at the hands of his mother and step-father, Magdalena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek under the noses of the authorities.

The schoolboy was left to die in his unheated 'cell' home for around 33 hours after suffering a fatal head injury at his Coventry home on March 1 last year.

His parents' trial, which ended in a guilty verdict for both yesterday, heard how 22 days before he was beaten to death Daniel was seen by a community paediatrician because he was so emaciated.

The appointment with Dr Supratik Chakraborthy was just one of a string of attempts to help Daniel, who was at the centre of a police inquiry after suffering a broken arm 14 months before his death.

During his last two months of life, Daniel was also sent to school with two black eyes and observed by his class teacher to have bruising on his neck.

Although action was taken to monitor and assist Daniel and his family, a serious case review into the horrifying circumstances of his death will examine why opportunities to save him were missed.

It is also expected to look at why social services were not alerted to Daniel's plight during the campaign of starvation waged against him over six months.

The inquiry, set up by Coventry's Safeguarding Children Board, is also expected to scrutinise the investigation launched after Daniel's left arm was broken on January 5, 2011.

After Daniel was taken to Coventry's University Hospital the next day, his mother Magdelena Luczak told a consultant her son may have sustained the injury while playing in the living room.

Medics were informed that Daniel had been jumping off a sofa with his sibling and had complained of pain the following morning.

But the consultant, who counted six bruises near the displaced 'spiral' fracture to the upper arm, called in child protection experts due to doubts about Luczak's account and Daniel's delayed attendance at hospital.

At a follow-up appointment at the same hospital on January 17, Luczak became 'very angry' that social services had been contacted, towering over a specialist and telling her: 'In Poland when a child breaks his arm, the doctors look at the child, not the parents.'

The inquiry, which saw the sibling corroborate the false account, eventually led to a police decision to take no further action, and social services closed their file on Daniel in June 2011.

Between July 2011 and September 2011, when Daniel started at Little Heath Primary School, there were several further contacts between health workers and Luczak.

An educational welfare officer and a school nurse also paid visits to Daniel's home on various dates between August and December 2011.

Senior and junior teaching staff, including Daniel's class teacher Lisa Godfrey and Little Heath's headmaster Darren Clews, gave evidence to the trial.

Miss Godfrey told the jury how when Daniel first attended the school he was always well-dressed and looked smart and well cared for.

Although he was noted to be solemn and not to be interacting with other children, Daniel seemed to be a child with the potential to be bright.

But he did not make the progress that other foreign-speaking pupils made and was initially observed to be eating up to five pieces of fruit a day, in addition to 'devouring' his packed lunch of Polish bread, a slice of meat and loose crisps.

During November and December 2011, Daniel was noted to be taking food from other children's lunch boxes, a problem which became progressively worse.

Miss Godfrey initially spoke to Luczak in November about Daniel's behaviour and noted that she 'barely looked at' her son and was very stern with him.

In what became a common account to numerous professionals, Luczak claimed Daniel had an appointment with a doctor about his 'excessive' eating habits.

Luczak was spoken to again by Miss Godfrey before the Christmas holidays about Daniel's poor attendance levels, and claimed he had been sick after 'raiding the fridge' in the night.

During his time at Little Heath, according to staff members, if Daniel was upset he would 'whimper' rather than cry to show displeasure.

Another teacher who came into contact with Daniel said she had picked him up after he fell and he felt 'like a bag of bones'.

The same teacher told the court: 'He just felt small. He felt very skinny - it didn't feel like healthy slimness.'

Mr Clews told the court Daniel had been absent for 24 days during the autumn term - with further absences in January and February.

As a result of the concerns about attendance, the school's learning mentor contacted an educational welfare officer who later conducted visits to Daniel's home.

Following the Christmas holidays, Daniel continued to steal and scavenge for food at school, even eating half a 15-slice birthday cake.

By this time his appearance had changed markedly, and he sometimes hid food in his trousers or ate in secret.

On January 16 last year, Miss Godfrey spotted four dot-shaped bruises around the right side of Daniel's neck, which were recorded in the school's concerns book.

At the beginning of February, Luczak was again spoken to by school staff and assured them Daniel was seeing a doctor for his problems.

At some point before February 10, when the school closed for an extended half-term, Miss Godfrey also reported seeing Daniel with two black eyes and a scratch of his nose, and informed Mr Clews.

But Luczak was not spoken to about what Miss Godfrey had seen and no written record was made of the apparent injury.

Mr Clews's account of the second report of an injury differed from that of Miss Godfrey - with him describing Daniel as having a graze on the side of his head which was not serious enough to be entered into the concerns book.

During the inquiry into the second incident, a child was spoken to and claimed Daniel had been pushed over by another youngster the previous day while walking in the street.

On February 10 - three weeks before Daniel's death - he was seen by Dr Chakraborthy after a referral made by the school nurse.

Dr Chakraborthy was told that Daniel, who did not speak to any adult during the appointment, had an insatiable appetite and was aggressive towards anyone who denied him food.

In his evidence to the murder trial, Dr Chakraborthy said he had no reason to suspect Luczak was lying and had considered a hypermetabolic disorder, as well as an autistic spectrum disorder, as the cause of the boy's problems.

A full examination was carried out at the appointment and Daniel was recorded as being thin but not 'wasted' with no bruising on his body or limbs.

Blood tests were also carried out as a result of the appointment and a referral was made for Daniel to be further examined by a specialist consultant.

After the February half-term, Daniel looked very unwell at Little Heath, seemed more placid than normal and was no longer 'inventive' in his efforts to find food.

On February 27, Daniel 'looked like an old man' with sunken eyes and appeared to be 'sad, desperate and lonely' as he ate dried beans in a sand-pit.

Police were also called out twice to deal with drunken domestic arguments during the year that Krezolek and Luczak lived at the home where Daniel was murdered.

TEXT MESSAGES THAT HELPED CONVICT KILLER MOTHER AND STEPFATHER

When Magdelena Luczak was arrested at her home she was shaking, appeared to be extremely nervous - and was holding the mobile phone which helped to convict her of murder.

Text messages sent from the handset provided evidence of the defendants' drug and alcohol abuse, their remorseless mistreatment of Daniel Pelka, and their attempts to keep the abuse from teachers, social workers and medical staff.

In one chilling message, Daniel's mother wrote that he was 'temporarily unconscious because I nearly drowned him.'

She wrote that she was having some quiet time - but threatened to submerge him in the water again.

Luczak wrote: 'I won't be hitting him but if I hear him when he later wakes up then he's going back to the bathtub. I didn't let the water out'.

Listed in chronological order, here are some of the text messages which passed between Mariusz Krezolek and Luczak, translated into English from Polish for the court proceedings.

October 7, 2011

8.46am - Sent by Krezolek: 'Magda, lead him to the room and lock him there, you'll have some peace and do wait for me.'

9.15am - Sent by Luczak: 'We'll deal with Rudy (Daniel) after school, he won't see grub at all. I'm going home now call me on your break.'

12.24pm - Sent by Luczak: 'Let's buy the white stuff instead of Vodka today. We would have some fun later and you could sit at the computer and look for a car.'

October 21, 2011

6.43am - Sent by Luczak: 'When you're going to the shop then do remove Rudy's door handle so (Daniel's sibling) won't be opening the door for him.'

12.04pm - Sent by Luczak: 'Buy salt as a must, if you have enough money then sugar as well.'
November 15, 2011

9.35am - Sent by Luczak: 'I'll call this clinic and change this appointment for (Daniel) because he's even more ill than he was.'

December 14, 2011

9.40am - Sent by Luczak: 'I was telling you I'd be having problems and a punishment because he's not at school. The hags from the council were here!'

February 1, 2012

8.54am - Sent by Luczak: 'You were striking him by the hands and he's saying in the lady's presence that it's hurting and I told him if he doesn't talk such nonsense he'd get a chocolate bar later on.'

February 2, 2012

7.47am - Sent by Luczak: 'One of his hands is livid blue and what am I supposed to do now.'

8.24am - Sent by Luczak: 'I rubbed this hand of his with antibiotic ointment and I'll call school before 9.'

10.21am - Sent by Luczak: 'Well now he's temporarily unconscious because I nearly drowned him. He's already in bed covered with the duvet and asleep and I am having some quiet time.'

10.24am - Sent by Luczak: 'I won't be hitting him but if I hear him when he later wakes up then he's going back to the bathtub. I didn't let the water out.'

February 8, 2012

12.11pm - Sent by Luczak: 'I'm leaving these marks of yours to you as they aren't coming off.'

March 2, 2012

4.34pm - Sent by Luczak to Krezolek, as Daniel lay dying of a brain injury: 'He'll get over it by tomorrow. There is no point to stress ourselves out and to call an ambulance because that will cause proper problems.'


Daniel Pelka murder trial: Boy 'died after head attack'

BBC.co.uk

July 15, 2013

A mother accused of starving and murdering her son has told a court he died after being beaten about the head by her partner.

Magdelena Luczak, 27, claimed Mariusz Krezolek, 34, also tried to strangle her as he twice attacked four-year-old Daniel Pelka in his bedroom.

He died in hospital in Coventry on 3 March 2012 from severe head injuries.

The couple both deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child in the trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

They have admitted a charge of cruelty.

Ms Luczak told the jury Mr Krezolek attacked Daniel when he came home from school on Thursday 1 March 2012.

She said he was angry Daniel had wet himself.

She told the jury Mr Krezolek knocked Daniel to the ground by hitting him on the back of his head and when she tried to intervene he throttled her.

'Asleep not unconscious'

She said: "Mariusz cleaned Daniel in a very unpleasant way. He grabbed him by the T-shirt and dragged him into the box room.

He hit him again with a hand and he knocked him down to the mattress. I shouted at him not to hit him."

Ms Luczak told the court the next thing she remembered was waking up downstairs on the sofa.

She said she had not called an ambulance immediately because she thought Daniel was "asleep and not unconscious".

"I wasn't aware that he was in such a serious condition - I thought that he was going to wake up," she said.

The court heard the couple eventually called the emergency services at 03:00 GMT on Saturday 3 March.

Ms Luczak admitted lying about events to protect herself and Mr Krezolek.

"I loved him and at the same time I hated him," she said.

"I cannot describe it. Sometimes Mariusz was almost very good for us, and then the days were coming when it was terrible."

Ms Luczak told the court her partner "hated" Daniel and would punish him every day by making him kneel in a corner, do squats or run around.

"Mariusz would check his belly and he would say that there's a slight bump on his belly," she said.

"He would ask Daniel if he was taking any sandwiches [from his school]. Daniel was so scared that he would always confess and say yes he had.

"Mariusz didn't allow me to give him food and he said he was well fed at school."

'Had enough'

The court had heard Daniel weighed less than 24lb (10.7kg) when he died.

He took food from classmates and scavenged in bins at his school in the months before his death, the jury heard.

Ms Luczak, who denied force-feeding Daniel with salt, told the court she would give him breakfast and a packed lunch every day.

"On the way to school I would buy him something sweet and after school Daniel wouldn't eat anymore," she said.

Asked by defence barrister Stephen Linehan QC what she did about the punishments given to Daniel by Mr Krezolek, she said: "Daniel didn't listen to me.

"At first I thought it was good that Mariusz was stopping him taking the sandwiches."

When asked how she felt as the punishments continued, she said: "Later, I had enough."


Daniel Pelka murder trial: Mum 'stopped 999 call for dying son'

BBC.co.uk

July 9, 2013

A man accused of murdering his four-year-old stepson has told a jury the boy's mother prevented him calling an ambulance after her son fell.

Daniel Pelka died in Coventry on 3 March 2012 from severe head injuries.

Mariusz Krezolek, told Birmingham Crown Court Magdelena Luczak had said social services would notice bruises on the boy and threatened him when he suggested calling 999.

Mr Krezolek, 34, and Ms Luczak, 27, deny murdering Daniel.

The pair, who are originally from Poland, have admitted child cruelty but deny murder and causing or allowing Daniel's death.

Giving evidence through a Polish interpreter, Mr Krezolek told the court that Daniel had fallen accidentally three times in the kitchen and hallway of their Coventry home on 1 March.

Mr Krezolek told the court how, after Daniel had fallen, Ms Luczak took him upstairs for a bath.

e told the jury: "She undressed Daniel. When she started picking up his clothes, now I know this is the point at which he lost consciousness... I immediately said to Magda, 'Daniel fell down awkwardly, it's certainly not normal'."

The court had previously heard from Mr Krezolek that he fed the boy salt as a "punishment" on at least one occasion, under instruction from his partner.

He said that Ms Luczak had also given Daniel salt on another occasion because he had asked for a drink.

Describing the episode when Daniel had collapsed, Mr Krezolek said Ms Luczak said it was "maybe because of the salt".

He added that she told him "maybe he's feeling weak, he'll be all right tomorrow".

The court has previously heard how Daniel was seen by paramedics early on a Saturday morning, about 36 hours after he fell in the kitchen. He died in the early hours of 3 March after being taken to Coventry's University Hospital.

'Nearly drowned him'

When asked why he did not call an ambulance straight away, Mr Krezolek said: "I was worried that Daniel was simply not responding but Magda said he would be fine... Magda was convincing me he was all right.

"He had the bruises on his legs. I remember something being said about social services, that they would get interested."

Mr Krezolek said he had wanted to take Daniel to hospital but Ms Luczak refused and threatened him if he called an ambulance.

He denied searching on the internet under topics such as "when the kidneys cease to work" and "when a child stops responding".

Earlier, Mr Krezolek told jurors how, on another occasion, Ms Luczak sent a text message claiming she had "nearly drowned" Daniel.

He said he was at work at a factory on the morning of 2 February when his partner texted him saying: "Well now he's temporarily unconscious because I nearly drowned him. He's already in bed covered with the duvet and asleep and I am having some quiet time."

The court heard Mr Krezolek received a second message from Ms Luczak two minutes later saying: "I won't be hitting him but if I hear him when he later wakes up then he's going back to the bathtub. I didn't let the water out."

He told his barrister, Nigel Lambert QC, he had not been allowed to make calls from his work to "calm her down".

Mr Krezolek, who came to the UK in 2005, added: "I texted her with a short message not to hit him and give him some food so that she would have her quiet."

The court was told in another text Ms Luczak wrote: "We deal with Rudy [Daniel] after school. He won't see grub at all."

He said that was because Daniel "was supposed to be punished, to not get his dinner" and that it was Ms Luczak's idea.


Daniel Pelka was 'held underwater' in bath

BBC.co.uk

July 3, 2013

A sibling of a four-year-old boy allegedly murdered by his mother and stepfather told a court they saw him being held underwater in a bath at the family home.

Daniel Pelka died from a head injury in March 2012 in Coventry after an alleged campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty.

His mother Magdelena Luczak, 27, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, 33, both from Poland, deny murder.

The child said they tried to protect their brother from the pair.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court saw recorded evidence of a police interview with the sibling, who cannot be identified.

The child witness was filmed sitting in a room filled with cushions and playing with toys while a police officer asked questions.

Ms Luczak and Mr Krezolek are alleged to have starved and murdered the primary school pupil, who was confirmed dead in the early hours of 3 March after paramedics were called to his home.

His sibling described how they would often ask for extra food so that they could give some to Daniel, who they said was not allowed downstairs.

The child said Daniel was not allowed to leave his bedroom to use the toilet and had been expected to defecate in his bed.

'Didn't do anything'

Speaking about the occasion when Daniel had been in the "really, really cold" bath, the child said: "[Mr Krezolek] bashed Daniel's head against the bath. He pushed him."

The child showed that Daniel had suffered a head injury and was asked whether Daniel was taken to hospital.

"No, I looked after him.

"[Ms Luczak] was holding him underwater. [Mr Krezolek] told me not to tell anybody. Daniel cried. They didn't do anything."

The child witness said they often saw Mr Krezolek drunk and said he "smashed [Ms Luczak] loads of times - 11 or 10 times".

They added: "He done some really naughty things."

The witness continued: "Sometimes he done it to [Ms Luczak] and she telled him to stop it and I can't because he... When he's hurt [Ms Luczak] I can't be brave because I am really sad and I think [Ms Luczak] started to be rude to my brother."

Daniel's sibling described one occasion when he could not be woken up.

They said: "I tried to wake him up but I didn't, I couldn't. I listened to his heart but it didn't, I couldn't, hear his heart. It couldn't beat.

"I shouted to [Ms Luczak] and [Mr Krezolek] and [Ms Luczak] shouted, 'what's the matter?' but they didn't come to see."

The child also said they would cook dinner for Daniel.

They said: "I had my money I got from the bank. I found a card on the floor. I used to go to a shop with my brother and used to buy things for him that [Ms Luczak] couldn't see."

'Hidden toast'

Daniel's sibling was asked if they helped their brother with food.

"Yes, everything," they replied.

Mr Krezolek and Ms Luczak have admitted child cruelty, but deny murder and causing or allowing Daniel's death.

The witness was later cross-examined by defence barristers on a live videolink, via an intermediary in the same room as them.

They also claimed to have hidden food, including toast, to give to Daniel.

"We had to look after ourselves," the witness told the court.

"I had to make food for him, I had to clean him up."

During cross-examination, the child told Stephen Linehan QC, representing Ms Luczak, that Mr Krezolek had hit Daniel, who had been put in a bath of cold water on two occasions.


Daniel Pelka murder: Boy like 'concentration camp victim', court hears

BBC.co.uk

June 13, 2013

A boy allegedly starved and murdered by his mother and her partner, looked like a "concentration camp victim", a court has heard.

Daniel Pelka, four, died from a head injury in March 2012 after an alleged campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty.

His mother, Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, deny murder.

Dr Karen McLachlan told Birmingham Crown Court she was "horrified" because "she had never seen a child that emaciated" in a career of 30 years.

Mr Krezolek, 33, and Ms Luczak, 27, who came to the UK from Poland in 2006, have admitted child cruelty, but deny charges of murder and causing or allowing Daniel's death.

Dr McLachlan, the child protection lead at Coventry and Warwickshire's NHS Trust, told the court she had first seen Daniel's body at a mortuary on March 5 last year.

'Skin hanging off'

She said he weighed less than 24lb (10.7kg), which was 9lb (4kg) less than he weighed in January 2011.

She told the jury she was "horrified" by his appearance.

"I think most of the jury will have seen pictures of children and adults who have been the victims of concentration camps and that's what Daniel looked like," she said.

"He looked tiny - his skin was hanging off in folds from his thighs and his arms," she said.

"His tummy was extremely thin, his eyes were sunken and he had a number of bruises."

Dr McLachlan said that other parts of Daniel's body appeared to be "wasted" and his hips and rib-cage were sticking out.

Under cross-examination by counsel for the defence, the doctor said part of Daniel's appearance in death was due to dehydration.


Daniel Pelka murder case: Boy 'ate food from bins'

BBC.co.uk

June 5, 2013

A four-year-old boy who was allegedly starved and murdered by his mother and stepfather tried to eat food from bins at school, a court has been told.

A teaching assistant at Little Heath Primary School in Coventry said Daniel Pelka picked out the core of a fruit from a bin and "started to eat it".

It is alleged that Daniel died from a head injury in March 2012 following a campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty.

His mother, Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, deny murder.

The pair, who came to Britain from Poland in 2006, also deny causing or allowing his death but both have admitted a charge of child cruelty.

'Sand around mouth'

A number of staff members from the school gave evidence on day three of the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, including teaching assistant Beatrice O'Brien who described Daniel's behaviour around bins.

"We watched him walk up to the bin, look to see if anyone was looking and pick out either the core of an apple or a pear and he started to eat it," she said.

Ms O'Brien told jurors she found him "trying to get the last bit of yoghurt out" of an empty tube of yoghurt in another bin.

The problem became so frequent that Ms O'Brien said teachers stopped punishing him and began explaining to him what he was doing was wrong.

The court also heard the four-year-old had tried to shell and eat "dried kidney beans" from the children's sand table on the last afternoon he was at school.

Ms O'Brien said: "He had sand around his mouth... [but it] didn't really stick - there wasn't much saliva and his mouth seemed very dry.

"I was very concerned. He did not look at all well and he had lost a lot of weight."

Another teaching assistant, Nicola Griffiths, said Daniel had tried to eat beans that had been planted in soil as part of an experiment.

She also told jurors he had turned up to school with injuries to his nose and forehead.

'Untruthful account'

Earlier, head teacher Darren Clews said Daniel did not mix with other children and "sat on the periphery of groups".

He said Ms Luczak and Mr Krezolek appeared "upset" when he met them at school on Monday 5 March, two days after Daniel had died.

Mr Clews said Ms Luczak informed him that Daniel had been off school on the Friday prior to his death because he had been unwell and that she found him "unconscious" in bed.

He told prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC that Ms Luczak told him: "It was Friday night into early Saturday when she had checked on him and found him unconscious, and she called her partner and he started trying to resuscitate Daniel - he acted out the chest compressions to me."

The court had previously heard Ms Luczak sent Mr Krezolek a text message when Daniel was unconscious.

The message, translated from Polish, is alleged to have read: "He'll get over it by tomorrow. There is no point to stress ourselves out and to call an ambulance because that will cause proper problems."

Ms Luczak's barrister, Stephen Linehan QC, said: "It's accepted she gave an untruthful account to the headmaster."

The head teacher confirmed the boy had missed 28-and-a-half days of school between 14 September 2011 and the date of his death.


Daniel Pelka murder case: Victim 'stole food at school'

BBC.co.uk

June 4, 2013

A four-year-old boy alleged to have been starved and murdered by his mother and stepfather would steal food at school, a court has heard.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told Daniel Pelka's lunchbox contained half of a sandwich when he was sent to Little Heath Primary School, Coventry.

A member of staff at the school said Daniel would "eat anything he could get his hands on".

His mother, Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, deny murder.

The pair, who came to Britain from Poland in 2006, also deny causing or allowing his death but have both admitted a charge of child cruelty.

The four-year-old is alleged to have died from a head injury following a campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty by Ms Luczak, 27, and Mr Krezolek, 33.

'Stood out instantly'

Teaching assistant Amy Tokely broke down in tears when she told the court Daniel wanted to eat "muddy and dirty" pancakes which had been on the floor.

Ms Tokely said: "Daniel stood out from the other children within the first couple of hours of me being in the classroom.

"I had noticed that he helped himself to fruit [from a fruit bowl] a number of times and he kind of stood out instantly."

When asked by prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC what the boy had in his lunchbox, Ms Tokely replied: "Initially it was a slice of bread cut in half with ham inside.

"He would have a drink and on occasion he would have perhaps some loose crisps in a bag."

The witness added that he eventually got a full sandwich and never failed to finish his lunch.

'Losing weight'

The court was told he was seen looking for more food in other schoolchildren's lunchboxes which prompted teachers to lock them away in an office.

Ms Tokely said she noticed a change in Daniel's appearance following the February half-term break prior to his death in March 2012.

"He appeared to be losing weight. His skin was very pale and his hair had gone straw-like," she said.

"It was noticeable. His clothes were hanging off him and his attempts to get food became desperate."


Daniel Pelka murder case: Parents 'deliberately starved son'

BBC.co.uk

June 3, 2013

An emaciated boy was the subject of a campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty by his mother and stepfather before he died, a court has heard.

Four-year-old Daniel Pelka's condition was likened by a doctor to that of a concentration camp victim.

He was deliberately starved over several months before being beaten to death at his Coventry home in March 2012, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Mother Magdelena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, deny murder.

The pair, who came to Britain from Poland in 2006, also deny causing or allowing his death, but have both admitted a charge of child cruelty.

The court heard claims that the youngster was "imprisoned" in a bedroom, which had no door handles, and force-fed salt.

'Nearly drowned'

Opening the case for the prosecution, Jonas Hankin QC alleged that text messages provided compelling evidence of Ms Luczak and Mr Krezolek's guilt.

Daniel's mother is alleged to have said: "He's temporarily unconscious as I nearly drowned him. I am having some quiet time."

Mr Hankin told the jury that four-year-old Daniel, who was found to have suffered a brain injury, was unconscious when a text message was sent from Ms Luczak to Mr Krezolek at 16:34 on 2 March.

The message, translated from Polish, is alleged to have read: "He'll get over it by tomorrow.

"There is no point to stress ourselves out and to call an ambulance because that will cause proper problems."

Daniel was pronounced dead at University Hospital Coventry after a 999 call was made by Mr Krezolek at 03:07 on 3 March.

A post-mortem examination found he had "groups of injury" over his body.

'Fatal blow'

Mr Hankin told jurors that a gastroenterology expert found Daniel was "extremely emaciated" and had a low body mass index.

He said the jury would hear the level of Daniel's malnutrition could have happened over three months, but is likely to have occurred over a longer period.

The prosecution alleges that at some point between the evening of 1 March and late morning the next day, Daniel was subjected to a "violent assault in his own home by one or the other, or both, of the defendants".

"Irrespective of who landed the fatal blow, each bears responsibility for his murder," Mr Hankin told the court.

"This act of cruelty and violence was not an isolated incident.

"Leading up to his death, he was subjected to a campaign of incomprehensible and escalating cruelty."

 

 

 
 
 
 
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