BBC News

Neighbour says she heard murdered Daniel Pelka screaming at night

By David Lumb
BBC News, Coventry

image captionDaniel Pelka was murdered by his mother Magdelena Luczak and her partner Mariusz Krezolek

A four-year-old boy who was murdered by his mother and her boyfriend used to "cry a lot" and scream during the night, a neighbour told the BBC.

The woman, 29, who asked not to be named, said she would hear Daniel Pelka yelling two or three times a night from inside the family's Coventry home, but thought he was having nightmares.

Another neighbour said he called police after he was threatened by Mariusz Krezolek, who was convicted of Daniel's murder alongside the child's mother Magdelena Luczak on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it emerged that Krezolek is wanted in Poland for an unconnected drinking and driving charge.

West Midlands Police said he would not face being extradited because a warrant for his arrest was never issued in Poland.

The 29-year-old neighbour said: "I used to be able to hear Daniel playing. He used to cry a lot but I never knew why. He would scream in the early hours of the morning. Two or three times a night. We thought maybe he was having a nightmare."

image captionMariusz Krezolek, who is wanted for a drink driving charge in Poland, with Magdelena Luczak

She said she saw Krezolek, 34, and Luczak, 27, the day after Daniel's death.

"The day after the ambulance came to the house (after Daniel's death) Krezolek and Luczak went out shopping. They came back with food. They were acting normal. The mother didn't have a tear in her eye," she said.


Another neighbour said he was threatened by Krezolek.

"He would not speak politely," said the man in his fifties.

"He was aggressive. There were some builders doing some work outside once and he came out and told them to stop making so much noise.

"He grabbed me by the shirt and pushed me against a wall. He said, 'tell them to stop working or you will see the result'.

"I called the police straight away and they came round and had a word. I was scared living here. At one point I was thinking about selling my house."

During a nine-week trial, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard Daniel had been beaten and starved. His emaciated body was likened by a doctor to that of a concentration camp victim.

The court heard Daniel's head injury was one of 30 injuries he suffered and he weighed just 14.8kg (32.6lb) in January 2011 and 13.8kg (30.4lb) three weeks before his death.

Another neighbour, Komal Dulai, said she was shocked by what had happened.

"They seemed like an all right family," she said.

"Daniel was quite a calm boy; a well behaved child. You did not get him running in the road. I saw them very rarely but when I did they were very normal. They did not argue."

More on this story

  • Daniel Pelka murder: System can 'never prevent' all child deaths