Today Magadelena Luczak, 27, and her husband Mariusz Krezolek, 34, were sentenced today in the torture and murder of Luczak’s 4-year-old son Daniel Pelka. Pelka endured months of abuse in the family’s Coventry, UK, home prompting the question: Why did no one do anything?
Here’s what you need to know about this tragic case:
1. He Was Starved and Force-Fed Salt
The reports of what was done to 4-year-old Pelka shocked the UK as the case unfolded. According to the Guardian the boy;s mother and step-father starved him and force fed him salt to make him vomit up what little found he could scrounge.
Pelka was also locked for extended periods of time in a small unheated room and routinely thrown into cold baths where his mother would hold his head underwater.
The 4-year-old finally succumbed to the violence and died in March 2012 after being severely beaten by either his mother, step-father, or both.
2. His Mother and Stepfather Will Serve Minimum of 30 Years
Early Friday morning, Magdelena Luczak and her husband Mariusz Krezolek were sentenced to life in prison a minimum of 30 years before the option of parole becomes available.
According to UK’s Independent, the judge in the Birmingham court where the couple was sentenced told them,
Time and again, knowing exactly what you were doing to him, both of you concealed your conduct from the authorities by a series of deliberate and elaborate lies, designed to put them off the scent and to prevent them from discovering Daniel’s true plight…Your expressions of regret and sorrow made now ring hollow in the circumstances of this case.
3. Teachers & Child Services Ignored Obvious Signs of Abuse
The controversy surrounding the case comes from the question why more people did nothing to help improve Pelka’s condition after he exhibited obvious signs of abuse. Watch above security camera footage of Pelka being led away from school by his mother just 36 hours before he died.
Because he was being denied food at home, Pelka would routinely route through the garbage at school to try to find scraps to eat, and yet no one at school even attempted to improve his living conditions.
Likewise, the Guardian is reporting that Colin Green, the director of children, learning and young people in the city of Coventry, is retiring at the end of the month, no doubt to avoid the current investigation into the Pelka case.
4. Pelka’s Name Trended Worldwide Today
After the verdict today, Daniel Pelka’s name became a world wide trend on Twitter with people expressing their remorse over Pelka’s fate and condemning his murderers.
1,000 years wouldn't be long enough for that disgusting mother! Rest in peace #danielpelka
— Maggie O'Sullivan (@MaggieO89) August 2, 2013
This story on Daniel pelka just depresses me why are people so blind the kid was hunting for food in the bins at school man
— April♡ (@AprilBayley) August 2, 2013
5. Deputy PM Nick Clegg: ‘His Death Should be on all Our Consciences’
Liberal Democrat and the Deputy PM Nick Clegg was confronted by the Pelka story while on a radio show. A caller who identified herself as a victim of child abuse and Clegg expressed his deep condolences to her and Daniel Pelka saying that his death should be “on all our consciences.” You can watch the video of that stirring moment above.