1. ITV Report

Daniel Pelka's stepfather admits punishing the four-year-old

Mariusz Krezolek, bald head, gives evidence while Daniel Pelka's mother Magdalena Luczak, brown hair, listens Photo: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

A step-father accused of starving and murdering his four-year-old Daniel Pelka has admitted taking part in punishing him.

Mariusz Krezolek said Daniel was ordered to run around his living room, forced to kneel, and perform repeated squats as a punishment for stealing sandwiches from his school.

The punishments, which began after Daniel started school in September 2011, varied in length from 10 to 20 minutes, Krezolek told Birmingham Crown Court.

The factory worker said they were carried out at the direction of the boy's mother Magdelena Luczak, 27, who was said to also sometimes beat him with a belt.

ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports.

Responding to questions from defence barrister Nigel Lambert QC, Krezolek said: "Magda said it was not such a big deal to punish him by making him kneel.

"Magda would often call me in tears and she would say 'Do something, shout at him because he is not listening to me at all'.

"I would hit him on his bottom, sometimes his hands, but not to beat him up the way Magda did."

Krezolek also told jurors he had accidentally fractured his stepson's arm during a game of hide-and-seek.

"I wanted to scare him... (like his sibling) I grabbed his arm... At that point he said "Mariusz hurt"... He stopped using his arm..."and was in "pain".

He said he didn't take Daniel to hospital because he was "worried" that he wouldn't be able to explain what happened and because he'd have to wait a long time.

Instead he waited for his mother to come back from work.

Daniel Pelka's mother looks on as her partner Mariusz Krezolek gives evidence. Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

When asked about his relationship with Daniel, Krezolek said he was "an average child".

"He was a cheeky boy, but he was completely normal", he added

Asked to describe Daniel's mother as a person, Krezolek said: "For most of the time she was a wonderful woman, but sometimes out of the blue she would explode and cause arguments."

The jury was also told that Krezolek has no previous convictions for violence but was given a 16-month ban for drink-driving in 2006.

He was also convicted of driving while disqualified on four occasions between 2006 and 2008.

Krezolek and Luczak, have both admitted a charge of child cruelty but deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial will continue tomorrow.