1. ITV Report

Couple jailed for at least 30 years for 'unimaginable' acts of cruelty

Daniel Pelka was just four-years-old when he died at his home in March last year. Photo: West Midlands Police

A couple have been jailed for at least 30 years for murdering Daniel Pelka who was subjected to "unimaginable" acts of cruelty and brutality.

The four-year-old was starved for at least six months before being beaten to death in March 2012.

Magdelena Luczak and her boyfriend Mariusz Krezolek were unanimously convicted of murder on Wednesday after blaming each other for the head injury which ultimately caused his death.

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek Credit: West Midlands Police

Eleven of the 12 jurors who found Luczak and Krezolek guilty of murder returned to the court today to see them receive mandatory life terms.

One of the jurors wiped away tears as the judge described the ill-treatment of Daniel during her sentencing remarks.

As the trial has progressed, harrowing details of the unimaginable acts of cruelty and brutality inflicted on little Daniel, over many months, have exposed both the torment and despair he must have suffered and your callous disregard for his pain and distress.

– Mrs Justice Cox, sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court

Mrs Justice Cox also said: "Over the nine weeks of acutely distressing evidence I have not observed a single sign of genuine remorse at any stage from either of you."

After the sentencing, David Tucker, head of policy at the NSPCC, said it reflected the public "revulsion" at the way Daniel was treated:

Evidence that Daniel had been regularly "imprisoned" for prolonged periods of time in a small unheated box room was also presented to the couple's trial.

The door of a box room in which Daniel Pelka was routinely "imprisoned" during his ill-treatment.

The door to the room had been adapted by Krezolek so that Daniel could not escape or even see out of the keyhole.

Referring to forensic evidence, the judge said "The small hand and finger marks on the inside of that door provided a poignant image of his desperate attempts to escape.

The stained mattress Daniel Pelka was forced to sleep on during his confinement in the box room. Credit: West Midlands Police

Referring to the events leading to Daniel's death after his final beating, Mrs Justice Cox said:

"You did not take him to hospital until you discovered in the early hours that he was not breathing and eventually called the emergency services.

"I am in no doubt that, before you made that call, you had deliberately planned the detailed lies you would tell in an attempt to deceive the authorities and save your own skins."

The last image of Daniel Pelka leaving school on March 1 2012.

Luczak and Krezolek were also told: "Both of you are in breach of what is probably the most important position of trust, as the parents of a small child who was entitled to their protection, their love and their care.

Your breach of trust, Magdalena Luczak, is wholly irreconcilable with the loving care that a mother should show towards her own son.

– MRS JUSTICE COX, SENTENCING AT BIRMINGHAM CROWN COURT

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