Kids like him haven’t just been let down by their own flesh and blood but by every organisation that exists to protect them
The story is always the same. It’s just the faces that change. Those sad, desperate, haunted little faces that have been smashed and battered by monsters who call themselves parents. These children haven’t just been let down by their own flesh and blood but by every organisation that exists to protect them – the police, social services, the health service, the education system.
So why is no one in these organisations ever to blame for the ever-increasing toll of dead infants? Why is no one ever punished or held responsible?
Children continue to die afraid and in agony because the people paid to protect them just close ranks and say “not our fault guv”. And instead of learning from their mistakes, instead of spending their time trying to stop any more children dying under their noses, they spend it working out how best to cover their own cowardly backsides. This time the child they all ignored was five-year-old Daniel Pelka – who weighed just 23 pounds when he died after months of torture at the hands of his toe rag parents.
Mariusz Krezolek and Magdelana Luczak – jailed for life on Friday – starved Daniel, tried to drown him, force fed him salt, broke his limbs and smashed his face. Yet incredibly, no one noticed. Not Darren Clews, his headmaster at Coventry’s Little Heath primary school, who last week was sunning himself at home and had the audacity to say: “It’s not been a pleasant time for anyone.” NOT PLEASANT? What happened to Daniel Pelka goes way beyond “not pleasant”. Or did Clews mean not pleasant for HIM?
But then why expect any sense of responsibility from a man who ignored his own teachers’ worries about Daniel, worries so grave they were written up in a school Concerns Book (he’d been stealing food from school bins and turning up with bruises on his face and neck). Apparently none of this was important enough to warrant any action from Clews who was allowed to quietly resign after Daniel’s murder and take his unseeing eyes and his uncaring heart to another school. The same levels of incompetence were shown by all the other so-called protective services – Daniel’s paediatricians didn’t see (or ignored) what was happening to him. As did the school nurse, the health visitors and the family doctor who, even though Daniel looked like a concentration camp victim, gave him medication for worms.
Even Social Services closed their file on him insisting he was fine. Which begs the question – how sick, how battered does a child have to be before some idiot takes notice? And what about the police – who visited Daniel’s home countless times because his stepfather, Krezolek, was a violent criminal who’d been jailed here THREE times. He shouldn’t even have been allowed into Britain because he was wanted by police in Poland. So why wasn’t he kicked out? If he had been Daniel might still be alive. But he’s not and now we have what we always have when an innocent has been killed – promises that it won’t ever happen again. Promises of special investigations, of serious case reviews. None of which will change anything. What WILL change the fate of children like Daniel is when people whose job it is to protect them get sacked or prosecuted if they don’t.
Children keep dying because no one is accountable. And the hideous truth is that too many of the people we trust to care for the vulnerable don’t. What they DO care about is keeping their jobs and if children have to die for that – then so be it.Daniel’s parents have been slung in jail for 30 years for what they did to him. So why haven’t the people who ignored what they did to him? Because surely it’s criminal negligence.
We kid ourselves that we live in a civilised society yet we do nothing to punish those whose stupidity, idleness and self interest facilitates the abuse and murder of helpless children.
And it’s time we did.