World

Couple jailed in UK for death of boy

Mariusz Krezolek (left) and Magdelena Luczak.

Mariusz Krezolek (left) and Magdelena Luczak.

LONDON — The mother and stepfather of a 4-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death were sentenced Friday in Britain to a minimum of 30 years in prison for his murder.

Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek were convicted this week of murdering Daniel Pelka, who was abused and tortured in the months before his death.

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Judge Laura Cox said the sentences reflected the couple’s ‘‘unimaginable acts of cruelty and brutality’’ and ‘‘callous disregard’’ for Daniel’s suffering.

Luczak and Krezolek, who are both from Poland, had blamed each other for Daniel’s death in March 2012, after the boy had been beaten and left to die in an unheated cell-like room.

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The judge noted the pair had constructed elaborate lies — such as telling school administrators not to feed Daniel because he suffered from an eating disorder — to shield their ‘‘campaign of cruelty.’’

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has described Daniel’s killing as ‘‘evil’’ and said, ‘‘His death should be on all of our consciences.’’

Over a nine-week trial, Birmingham Crown Court heard that Daniel appeared healthy when he started school in September 2011. Over the months that followed, he was subjected to ‘‘deliberate, escalating’’ brutality.

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His starvation was systematic and chronic, to the point that his bones ceased to grow. In testimony, experts likened his appearance to a concentration camp survivor.

Local lawmaker Geoffrey Robinson said Daniel had been ‘‘badly let down’’ not just by his mother and stepfather but by his school, health professionals, and social services.

associated press

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