Coventry & Warwickshire

Daniel Pelka murder trial: Mother tried 'to hide bruises'

Court artist sketch of Magdelena Luczak giving evidence
Image caption Magdelena Luczak gave evidence for a second day at Birmingham Crown Court

A mother accused of starving and murdering her son has told a court she avoided taking him to a doctor because he was always covered in bruises.

Magdelena Luczak claimed four-year-old Daniel Pelka was mistreated by his stepfather, Mariusz Krezolek.

Daniel died in hospital in Coventry on 3 March 2012 from severe head injuries.

The pair deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child in the trial at Birmingham Crown Court. They have admitted a charge of cruelty.

'Lots of bruises'

Giving evidence for a second day, Ms Luczak, 27, was questioned by Mr Krezolek's barrister about why she had not taken Daniel to a doctor as he lost weight.

She responded: "Because Daniel would always have a lot of bruises.

"I tried to make it secret, what was happening to him. That is why I didn't go to the doctor."

Mr Krezolek's QC, Nigel Lambert then asked Ms Luczak: "Why on earth would you do that to your son?"

Speaking through a Polish interpreter, Daniel's mother, who came to the UK in 2006 replied: "I don't know it myself. I don't understand my behaviour.

"It wasn't me, it was Mariusz but I knew what was happening. I myself don't understand my actions. I must have loved Mariusz to allow such a thing."

Ms Luczak told jurors yesterday that her partner also tried to strangle her as he twice attacked Daniel in their home.

She said she witnessed the separate assaults on 1 March last year, two days before an ambulance was called for the boy.

'Calculated and manipulative'

Mr Lambert asked the four-year-old's mother why she had not told the truth to police after she had been arrested with her partner.

Ms Luczak said: "Because I should have called the police after Mariusz hit Daniel on the head. I should have checked on him.

"I don't know what I was driven by when I was not telling the truth. I wanted to make it secret, all that took place.

"I was guilty myself and I shouldn't have allowed Mariusz to treat Daniel like that."

Mr Lambert described Ms Luczak's evidence as "nonsense" and put it to her that she had acted in a "calculated, manipulative and deceitful way" during police interviews to cover up her own "terrible deed" in killing Daniel.

Image caption Daniel Pelka died shortly after getting to hospital on 3 March 2012

"I did not kill my child," Ms Luczak answered.

Mr Lambert suggested Daniel's mother, and not his stepfather, had been in the "driving seat" during the four-year-old's ill-treatment.

Ms Luczak rejected the claim and said: "If I think soberly about it, I should have left but I didn't do it.

"I always gave him a chance. I wanted the relationship to work."

Ms Luczak was then asked why she had not informed staff at Daniel's school what was happening to the four-year-old.

"They would blame me," she replied.

"They would say that for so many months he was hit and I have not notified them about it.

"I should have done it but I didn't do it."

The trial continues.

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