Sebastian Kalinowski: Killer stepfather tells jury teen lied about his homework

 Sebastian Kalinowski/Andrezej Latoszewski
Sebastian Kalinowski was accused of 'lying' by Anrdezej Latoszewski.

A man who is on trial accused of murdering his stepson has told a jury he repeatedly beat the boy because of his "lying" about homework and to teach him "respect".

Sebastian Kalinowski, who was 15, developed fatal complications from untreated rib fractures caused by multiple assaults over the course of several weeks.

He died at home on Leeds Road, Huddersfield, in August last year.

Sebastian's mother, Agnieszka Kalinowska, 35, and her partner Andrezej Latoszewski, 36, deny murder and are on trial at Leeds Crown Court.

But Latoszewski – a martial artist and body builder – has admitted manslaughter. Kalinowska has pleaded guilty to child cruelty.

The jury has been shown extensive footage of the assaults, which were caught on CCTV installed by the couple in their own home. The prosecution say the cameras were put up to monitor Sebastian's behaviour.

The footage shows Sebastian being repeatedly punched and kicked as well as assaulted with weapons including a bed slat and a balustrade and whipped with an extension cable.

Prosecutors say Sebastian's treatment amounted to a form of "torture".

Latoszewski, who has previously said he felt "embarrassed" by his behaviour but denied he was "some sort of monster", was cross examined on Monday, 4 July.

He said he had a "lack of experience" in dealing with teenagers and he and his partner had no "help".

Credit: ITV News

'The normal form of punishment failed to work'

Prosecutor Jason Pitter QC raised a particular incident in which Latoszewski assaulted Sebastian on 10 August last year – three days before his death – asking him why he had done it.

The defendant replied: "It was to do with the long period of him lying and we didn't know what forms of punishment to use as the normal form of punishment failed to work and I just wanted to show him during school holidays something more aggressive so he would listen. It's not an explanation but it's all due to a lack of experience."

Mr Pitter asked: "How does a lack of experience make you behave as you did towards Sebastian?"

Latoszewski replied: "Like I said, there is just no way I can justify it and I'm really sorry. We found it really difficult."

Pressed by Mr Pitter about his motives, Latoszewski said: "I was thinking that Sebastian was doing things out of spite, he didn't want to listen to Agnieszka and every day he was becoming worse.

"And he was failing to sort of do the punishment that he, himself, had selected. The lies continued over a long period of time and we were thinking he was trying to lie even more about it all. And we didn't know he was feeling so unwell and so ill."

Pressed about what lies he was referring to, Latoszewski said: "In terms of doing his homework, or exercises."

He added: "He had unfinished homework from the time school was still on. He would be saying that he had no homework to do and it later resulted he had, like, 70 outstanding."

North Huddersfield Trust School. Credit: Google

'There were instances when he was pretending'

The court has heard that Sebastian, who attended North Huddersfield Trust School, was made to perform exercise drills, including hundreds of press-ups and squats, as punishments.

He was described as a "model pupil" by teachers at his school, but was accused by his parents of lying and playing truant, the jury has been told.

Latoszewski said Sebastian "chose the exercises himself and it was him who wanted that form of punishment".

He added: "If he wasn't happy about it or it was too hard for him, it would get changed and CCTV shows when he wasn't able to lift a weight, I gave him a lighter one, but that hasn't been shown by you."

Latoszewski claimed there were times when Sebastian would "pretend" to cry while being assaulted and would fake being in pain.

He said: "There were instances where he was pretending in order not to do things. I became lost with it all and I really didn't know if he was telling truth or lies but for the whole time he kept saying he felt well."

Latoszewski said: "The aim of what I did was for Sebastian to see a person who he felt respect for."

Mr Pitter asked if he thought Sebastian had "brought it on himself".

He replied: "Lack of help from the outside contributed towards it, and also lack of experience with teenagers causing troubles."

He was asked if he and Kalinowska attempted to cover up Sebastian's injuries in order to prevent questions from school staff.

He said: "We were looking for a way to deal with it as we felt ashamed of him going to school with injuries. Prior to that we were seeking help from the school to deal with it."

But he denied that he was guilty of torture, telling the court: "I wasn't torturing him. I was trying to scare him."

The trial continues.