Coventry & Warwickshire

Daniel Pelka murder trial: Mum 'stopped 999 call for dying son'

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Media captionBen Ando reports

A man accused of murdering his four-year-old stepson has told a jury the boy's mother prevented him calling an ambulance after her son fell.

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

Mariusz Krezolek, told Birmingham Crown Court Magdelena Luczak had said social services would notice bruises on the boy and threatened him when he suggested calling 999.

Mr Krezolek, 34, and Ms Luczak, 27, deny murdering Daniel.

The pair, who are originally from Poland, have admitted child cruelty but deny murder and causing or allowing Daniel's death.

Giving evidence through a Polish interpreter, Mr Krezolek told the court that Daniel had fallen accidentally three times in the kitchen and hallway of their Coventry home on 1 March.

Mr Krezolek told the court how, after Daniel had fallen, Ms Luczak took him upstairs for a bath.

He told the jury: "She undressed Daniel. When she started picking up his clothes, now I know this is the point at which he lost consciousness... I immediately said to Magda, 'Daniel fell down awkwardly, it's certainly not normal'."

The court had previously heard from Mr Krezolek that he fed the boy salt as a "punishment" on at least one occasion, under instruction from his partner.

He said that Ms Luczak had also given Daniel salt on another occasion because he had asked for a drink.

Describing the episode when Daniel had collapsed, Mr Krezolek said Ms Luczak said it was "maybe because of the salt".

He added that she told him "maybe he's feeling weak, he'll be all right tomorrow".

The court has previously heard how Daniel was seen by paramedics early on a Saturday morning, about 36 hours after he fell in the kitchen. He died in the early hours of 3 March after being taken to Coventry's University Hospital.

'Nearly drowned him'

When asked why he did not call an ambulance straight away, Mr Krezolek said: "I was worried that Daniel was simply not responding but Magda said he would be fine... Magda was convincing me he was all right.

"He had the bruises on his legs. I remember something being said about social services, that they would get interested."

Mr Krezolek said he had wanted to take Daniel to hospital but Ms Luczak refused and threatened him if he called an ambulance.

Image caption Mariusz Krezolek told the court he had wanted to take Daniel Pelka to hospital after his fall but his mother had refused

He denied searching on the internet under topics such as "when the kidneys cease to work" and "when a child stops responding".

Earlier, Mr Krezolek told jurors how, on another occasion, Ms Luczak sent a text message claiming she had "nearly drowned" Daniel.

He said he was at work at a factory on the morning of 2 February when his partner texted him saying: "Well now he's temporarily unconscious because I nearly drowned him. He's already in bed covered with the duvet and asleep and I am having some quiet time."

The court heard Mr Krezolek received a second message from Ms Luczak two minutes later saying: "I won't be hitting him but if I hear him when he later wakes up then he's going back to the bathtub. I didn't let the water out."

He told his barrister, Nigel Lambert QC, he had not been allowed to make calls from his work to "calm her down".

Mr Krezolek, who came to the UK in 2005, added: "I texted her with a short message not to hit him and give him some food so that she would have her quiet."

The court was told in another text Ms Luczak wrote: "We deal with Rudy [Daniel] after school. He won't see grub at all."

He said that was because Daniel "was supposed to be punished, to not get his dinner" and that it was Ms Luczak's idea.

The trial continues.

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