Earlier this year we covered the tragic case of Daniel Pelka.
Daniel, aged 4, was starved and beaten by his mother and her partner, Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek.
The facts are distressing to say the least; Daniel was starved and given salt water to the point where he was sick, thereby causing him to vomit. He was also beaten and ultimately died of severe head injuries. Each blamed the other but ultimately, they were convicted and received life sentences for murder, with minimum terms of 30 years. Our write up of the sentencing hearing can be read here.
Well, on 9 December 2014, their applications to appeal against sentence were refused. It appears also that Krezolek also had an application to appeal against conviction refused. We have a fact sheet on how the appeal process works, to explain the difference between an applicant and an appellant.
Lady Justice Hallet said:
“That anyone could treat a child this way is incomprehensible. That his mother and stepfather could is beyond any belief and understanding,”
“Both applicants were plainly far more concerned about their own future and their own responsibility than about getting help to a dying child.”
And that the judge was “fully entitled to treat this as one of the most serious offences of murder to come before the courts”.
See the BBC News website for more details.
Until we see the transcript it is difficult to assess the decision of the court. However, at the time, we said that an appeal was likely (because they have nothing to lose) but that it would be considerably difficult to persuade a court that the sentences were manifestly excessive. We’re unsurprised that this has been the result of the challenges to the sentences. As for the conviction appeal, it is not possible to say as we do not know the grounds, however the court described it as “unarguable”.