The killers of four-year-old Daniel Pelka have been told they must serve a minimum of 30 years in prison for his murder.
Daniel’s mother, Magdalena Luczak, and her partner, Mariusz Krezolek, were jailed for life today for murdering Daniel in March 2012, after being convicted of the crime yesterday. A serious case review is ongoing into whether agencies could have done more to protect Daniel from the abuse that he suffered at the hands of Luczak and Krezolek, which included being starved over a period of up to nine months. A report is due to be published in the next six weeks.
“We welcome the long prison sentences his murderers will serve for their repulsive crime,” said NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless. “They cowardly harmed a defenceless child and then blamed each other for his death in a pathetic attempt to escape justice. Thankfully this failed.”
During the trial, the court heard that Daniel had been so hungry that teachers reported seeing him steal food from other children and eat food from bins or covered in dirt.
It also emerged that Daniel had been assessed by doctors for a broken arm as early as January 2011, leading to questions about why the abuse was missed. Health visitors and an education welfare officer also made visits to Daniel’s home, but were given false explanations for the child’s dramatic weight loss, including that he suffered from a genetic eating disorder.
“We need the serious case review to identify the opportunities that were missed and to understand in much more detail why that was,” said British Association of Social Workers professional officer Nushra Mansuri. “As long as some adults are determined to inflict cruelty on children and plot to avoid detection, the social workers and other professionals who are trying to help children must be given full support to do their jobs.”