Sebastian Kalinowski: Huddersfield school's tribute to pupil murdered by his mother

Sebastian Kalinowski at school
Sebastian Kalinowski with classmates. Credit: North Huddersfield Trust School.

A school has paid tribute to a pupil who was murdered by his mother and her partner after months of torture as a "caring" and "charming" boy.

Fifteen-year-old Sebastian Kalinowski died from complications caused by multiple untreated rib fractures after repeated beatings at his home in Leeds Road, Huddersfield.

On Friday, 22 July, his mother Agnieszka Kalinowska, 36, and step-father Andrzej Latoszewski, 38, were convicted of murder following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

During the trial, the couple claimed they had assaulted Sebastian as punishment for alleged misbehaviour, including lying, failing to do his homework and playing truant from North Huddersfield Trust School (NHTS).

But the jury was told that, in contrast, staff saw him as a "model student".

Sebastian Kalinowski spoke very little English when he started at the school. Credit: North Huddersfield Trust School

Sebastian joined the school as a 14-year-old in October 2020 after moving to Huddersfield from his native Poland.

Headteacher Andrew Fell said he spoke very little English, but "began to build relationships and develop more confidence in his spoken English". 

"It was obvious that he was dedicated to learning and particularly excelled in quizzes that tested knowledge of different topics designed to help his integration into school in a new country," he said.

Mr Fell said Sebastian used Google Translate to communicate with others in his class and taught his teacher the Polish for "good morning".  

"It became a daily ritual for his form tutor to greet Sebastian in Polish, to which his response would be a polite smile and a nod, followed by the correct pronunciation," he said.

He said Sebastian was particularly good at maths and was "incredibly keen to consistently improve and to show what he was capable of achieving".

Agnieszka Kalinowska and Andrzej Latoszewski. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

'Caring, intelligent and fun loving'

During the trial, the jury was shown harrowing footage caught on CCTV cameras installed in their own home of Sebastian being repeatedly attacked by Latoszewski and Kalinowska. There were regular incidents of him being beaten with weapons and whipped.

While Sebastian had endured months of abuse, the trial heard that he showed little sign to school staff of being victimised, was always smartly dressed and was not seen with visible injuries.

He died on 13 August last year, around three weeks into the school summer holidays.

Sebastian with classmates. Credit: North Huddersfield Trust School

Mr Fell added: "Sebastian was happy at NHTS. His spoken English improved significantly, helping him blossom from an initially shy student into one with much more confidence and a strong circle of friends. 

"Caring, intelligent and fun-loving, he will be remembered for his charming smile, his sharp sense of humour and his kindness. 

"He embodied what our school stands for in demonstrating a positive attitude to school, treating others with respect and showing a determination to make the most of his education.

"Our close-knit school community is deeply saddened by the loss of Sebastian." 

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