UK & World News
Daniel Pelka: Accused Denies Stepson Murder
A man who allegedly beat his stepson to death and starved him for months has told a court he did not murder the child.
Mariusz Krezolek, and the four-year-old's mother, Magdelena Luczak, are accused of killing Daniel Pelka after a campaign of "incomprehensible" cruelty in Coventry in March last year.
Krezolek's barrister Nigel Lambert QC asked the defendant: "Did you murder Daniel Pelka?"
"No", he replied.
Later Mr Lambert asked: "And how do you feel now about all that happened to Daniel Pelka?"
"In prison, one sees things from another perspective", Krezolek replied.
"And I feel very bad about not having helped him. I did not want him to die and all that needed to be done was to have sacrificed more time for him and look after him in a proper way.
"What we were doing is not enough. I feel bad about it and I am truly sorry that he died.
"I did not take him to hospital but I didn't know he would die, if I'd have been told that it would happen, then I would not have listened to anyone. I would have taken him to hospital."
The jury was told that Krezolek admitted cruelty to Daniel, by locking him in his room, imposing physical punishment such as making him kneel for up to 20 minutes at a time, and making him eat salt.
But he denied seriously assaulting Daniel, or "deliberately" and "systematically" starving him.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that after Daniel's death, Krezolek was questioned 14 times in three days by police.
Krezolek said he had lied on a number of occasions to protect Luczak.
Invited by Mr Lambert to tell the jury why he told detectives things which were not true, Krezolek replied: "I did not want her (Luczak) to go to prison."
Krezolek told the court he believed Luczak might have gone to jail because "we had a lot of time and did not take the child to hospital".
Later, Luczak's barrister Stephen Linehan QC asked Krezolek: "Yesterday you appeared to be on the verge of crying and you made loud sniffing noises of the sort people would make when they are crying. How was it that not a single tear appeared?"
Krezolek replied: "Maybe you just didn't see it".
Luczak also denies murdering her son.
The trial continues.