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  1. ITV Report

Report into failings around Daniel Pelka death released

Four-year-old Daniel Pelka was beaten to death in March 2012. Photo: West Midlands Police

Behind the doors of an ordinary looking house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Coventry, a little boy, Daniel Pelka was subjected to the most horrific abuse.

While other children on his street would play on the grassy field nearby, Daniel who was just four and half years old was being tortured, starved and beaten.

His tormentors were his own mother and her boyfriend. They eventually murdered him in March 2012. Magdalena Luczak and her partner, Marius Krezolek were jailed for life for his murder last summer.

While they were responsible for his death, a serious case review into Daniel’s case revealed key agencies who had come into contact with Daniel had missed key opportunities to save him.

They included his school - Little Heath - the police, social services and health professionals.Today’s report commissioned by the Children’s Minister, Edward Timpson, has analysed in greater details some of the issues raised in that initial review.

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek were sentenced to at least 30 years for Daniel's murder. Credit: Police Handout

Key findings:

School

Lack of effective leadership within Little Heath Primary School to develop safe and effective child protection systems.

Appropriate professional judgement was not used in the decision not to refer Daniel’s situation to Children’s social care.

Did not identify risk of abuse because did not bring together fragmented information together.

Poor recording systems, especially in respect of recurrent injuries.

Children’s social care

Lack of effective management oversight within Children’s social care.

Core assessments were of poor quality and lacking detail.

Assessments were not of the required standard and this was not identified

Health visitors

Were not proactive

Relied on police assessments and social worker visits instead of visiting family themselves.

No family records linking the information about the separate children in the family.

Coventry City Council said in a statement, this report was a “snapshot of what services and systems were like when Daniel was murdered…There have been significant changes in many areas since then and are now embedded into the way we work with children, families and out partners…”

Today’s report has been welcomed by the Children’s Minister and explains what went wrong in Daniel’s case.