Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy from the West Midlands, endured severe starvation, neglect, and physical abuse before his tragic death. Described as a “bag of bones” by an assistant teacher. Shockingly, he weighed a mere 10 kg at the time of his passing.

the story of invisible boy daniel pelka

The death of Daniel Pełka shook the nation on March 3, 2012. The trial that followed on July 31, 2013, led to the conviction of his mother, Magdalena Łuczak (27), and her partner, Mariusz Krężołek (33), for his murder. The tragedy garnered significant attention due to the missed opportunities to recognize the severe child abuse Daniel was enduring. However, both perpetrators passed away while in prison, with Łuczak taking her own life and Krężołek suffering a fatal heart attack within three years of their sentencing.

Who was Daniel Pelka?

Daniel Pelka was born on July 15, 2007. After his parents split up a year later, his mother, Magdalena Luczak, entered a relationship with Mariusz Krezolek. Daniel lived with his mother and Mariusz while Magdalena had immigrated to Britain with Daniel’s father, Eryk Pelka, in 2005.

Daniel lived with his mother, Magdalena Luczak, and her boyfriend, Mariusz Krezolek. Magdalena Łuczak immigrated to Britain with Daniel’s father, Eryk Pelka, in 2005. After their split a year later, Magdalena entered a relationship with Mariusz. However, their relationship had been troubled for a while. In 2010, the police were called to their home due to a violent altercation where Mariusz choked Magdalena until she lost consciousness. Despite this incident, Mariusz did not face any charges as Magdalena believed he was intoxicated at the time.

Their relationship had been strained for a significant period, and in 2010, the police were summoned to their residence after a heated altercation between Magdalena and Mariusz. During the incident, Mariusz choked Magdalena until she lost consciousness, but he wasn’t prosecuted, as Magdalena believed he was under the influence of alcohol.

Daniel Pelka case timeline

In March 2008, when Daniel was eight months old, he received treatment for a minor head wound. Then, in 2011, when Daniel was three and a half years old, he was taken to the hospital with a broken arm. During his visit, a nurse noticed bruises on his arm, left shoulder, and lower stomach, raising suspicions of abuse at home.

A few months later, Daniel started school shortly after his fourth birthday. The school nurse reviewed his health records and made a home visit. The nurse referred Daniel to a pediatrician and offered support to his mother, but unfortunately, Daniel’s mother did not follow through with the appointments.

Although Daniel’s mother and her partner were known to the police, health services, and social services, the school had no knowledge of these issues. Concerns arose at school about Daniel’s obsession with food, taking food from other children’s lunchboxes, and regularly taking fruit from the classroom. His mother claimed he had an eating disorder and insisted that he should not eat at school due to the fear of bingeing and vomiting at home.

In December 2011, the school sent a letter to Daniel’s mother regarding his attendance, which was less than 64%. An Education Welfare Officer visited their home with a translator. While Daniel’s siblings were deemed fit for school, Magdalena, his mother, refused to send them.

Daniel Pelka's injuries

Daniel endured horrific abuse at the hands of his mother and her partner. They kept him locked in a small, unheated room, forcing him to use it as a toilet. Tragically, Daniel was unable to leave the room to use the bathroom, resulting in him defecating on his own mattress. The abuse was so severe that Daniel resorted to stealing sandwiches from other children at school and rummaging through bins for discarded apples just to survive. His emaciated body was likened to that of a concentration camp victim by a health worker.

On a particularly tragic day, Daniel was caught taking a half-eaten piece of fruit from a bin by a teacher who intervened to prevent him from eating it. Despite clearly showing signs of severe malnourishment, he received one final beating from Mariusz. After returning home from school, Daniel wet himself, which enraged Mariusz. He violently struck Daniel on the back of his head, causing him to fall to the ground.

On 1st March, a teacher saw Daniel taking a half-eaten piece of fruit from a bin, however, the teacher prevented him from eating it. Even though it was clear to see he was starving, he received one final beating on that fateful day. After coming home from school, Daniel wet himself, which enraged Mariusz, and he knocked Daniel to the ground by hitting him on the back of his head.

He took Daniel to another room where it was dark and continued to beat him. Sadly, Daniel never woke up. The following day Magdalena googled, “care patient in a coma,” and “salt poisoning.” She informed Mariusz that Daniel was still not awake, but he replied Daniel would “he’ll get over it.” and that calling an ambulance would “cause proper problems.”

On March 2nd, when Daniel’s teachers called due to concerns about his absence, there was no response. Unfortunately, the following morning, the couple finally contacted the ambulance service, but it was already too late for Daniel. He was pronounced dead half an hour after reaching the hospital at 3:50 am. Daniel had suffered prolonged abuse and neglect at the hands of his parents.

Daniel’s autopsy revealed 22 different types of injuries, 10 of which were severe and located on his head. The cause of death was determined to be a brain injury.

Following the investigation, Daniel’s body was returned to his biological father, Eryk Pelka. Initially, Eryk faced financial difficulties in bringing the body to Poland from the United Kingdom. However, a Polish funeral firm in London generously donated the funds, and on September 3, 2013, Daniel was finally laid to rest.

Why did Daniel’s abuse go unnoticed?

Daniel’s abuse went unnoticed due to several factors. First, his mother presented herself as a concerned parent, and Daniel always appeared tidy when attending school, giving the impression that everything was fine. The school was unaware of the extent of the long-standing domestic abuse and accepted the mother’s explanations, believing she was behaving appropriately.

During the trial, it became evident that the school only knew a fraction of the harm Daniel endured from his mother and her partner. The abuse included various forms of punishment, such as being locked in a room, being forced to sit in cold bathwater, and ingesting salt to induce vomiting. Daniel had also suffered a twisted fracture of the arm and bruising.

Although there was evidence indicating that Daniel was at risk of serious harm even before he started school, the school assumed that the appropriate agencies were addressing his concerns. The frequent police calls to the family home, involving domestic violence and alcohol abuse, may have contributed to the lack of intervention.

Additionally, Daniel faced communication challenges as English was not his first language. This made it difficult for him to speak up about the abuse and gain the confidence to express his distress. These factors combined to create a situation where Daniel’s abuse went unnoticed until it was tragically too late.

Trial of Daniel Pelka’s killers

The evidence presented during the trial was disturbing and revealed the extent of the abuse Daniel endured. One of Daniel’s siblings testified that Mariusz had attempted to drown him in cold water and that he was locked in a room and denied access to the bathroom.

 Both Magdalena and her partner denied causing Daniel’s death but admitted the offense of child cruelty. During the trial, Magdalena claimed Mariusz would attempt to strangle her if she tried to protect her son, and that he would not let her feed him.

Daniel Pelka's motehr and her partner

Text messages also revealed that Mariusz admitted to nearly drowning Daniel and that they removed the handle to his bedroom door to prevent his siblings from letting him out. These acts of cruelty were part of the evidence that led to the conviction of Magdalena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek for child cruelty, resulting in a minimum prison sentence of 30 years. The judge described their acts as unimaginably cruel and brutal.

His death should be on all of our consciences.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Magdalena and Mariusz died within 3 years of the sentence

Magdalena was discovered unresponsive in her cell on July 14, 2015, around 7:15 BST, and was subsequently declared deceased. A subsequent inquiry held three days later revealed that she had taken her own life on the eve of what would have been Daniel’s eighth birthday.

Six months later, on January 27, 2016, Mariusz was found deceased in his prison cell, the cause of death determined to be a heart attack. In his final days, he declined medical assistance due to the fear of being recognized by others.

Read more from the website:

Share Your Thoughts

Average Ratings 0 / 5. 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Tell us how we can improve this post?