4 year old starved to death by his parents

(307 Posts)
SquidgyMummy Tue 04-Jun-13 19:53:29

Horrendous Story

What i can't understand is why all the people who could have helped him: Teachers, school nurse, doctors etc could not see he was being mistreated. My 2 1/ year old weighs more than that poor child when he died.
I am just sickened by his needless death and the hand wringing "if only's" by the other adults who should have protected him

AudrinaAdare Wed 05-Jun-13 09:17:51

I cried reading the teacher's account too. From what I read he was wearing smaller sized clothes than the other children but that they were hanging off him. Lovely boy. I hope justice is done.

DiamondDoris Wed 05-Jun-13 09:26:02

Yes, being underweight on its own isn't a sign of abuse - poor little thing. My soon to be 7 year old DS is as small as a four year old and his weight is under investigation - he has intolerances so that might be the answer. Doesn't stop me from being paranoid. Thinness is okay as long as it doesn't go hand in hand with bloated stomach, listlessness and extreme hunger.

Poor poor little soul. sad I actually feel terribly sorry for the teachers as well, I am sure they blame themselves for not doing more.

It is hard to know from what is written how far up their referral had gone, although it sounds like there was substantial help offered and declined by the parents.

Poor Daniel.

janey223 Wed 05-Jun-13 10:32:10

I don't understand how the school couldn't have reported this sad

So sad, my 17m weighs more hmm

If you read the report in the mail it clearly had been reported to some extent as an educational welfare officer visited his home. Plus the school nurse. And he had been seen by a paediatrician.

So so sad.

roundtable Wed 05-Jun-13 11:20:30

Am I reading the same article?

It says it was reported more than once by his teacher. It must have been reported on for outside agencies to be involved. It also suggests it was an injury that killed him.

That poor, defenceless innocent. It made me feel physically sick to read that but I don't think pointing fingers at teachers etc at this stage without knowing the facts is helpful.

I hope justice is done.

AmberLeaf Wed 05-Jun-13 12:17:39

It says she went straight to the headteacher. I would expect the head to have refered it to SS. [if the head was the cpo]

Trial is ongoing so I think when/if the head gives evidence we will hear what their actions were.

The EWO would have been visiting due to his poor attendance wouldnt she?

AmberLeaf Wed 05-Jun-13 12:18:38

There is obviously a lot more to come out yet. ie who did what with regards passing on concerns.

HugeLaurie Wed 05-Jun-13 14:00:05

I have just read this story in the newspaper and wish that I hadn't. How must he have felt, going home to his parents each day after school. Home is where children are supposed to feel safe and loved, not starved and beaten. He must have been so frightened and confused. I will never, ever understand the mentality of people who abuse children, particularly when they are the parents of those children.

gymboywalton Wed 05-Jun-13 14:24:58

i only know what happened at school from what i have read in the news but it seems like the teacher and teaching assistant didn't know what to do. I wonder if more child protection training should be in place in schools?
i work in a school and i know that we would have taken more action.

edam Wed 05-Jun-13 14:25:58

Oh good grief, that is so upsetting. Poor little boy. The school, the education welfare officer, the paediatrician - none of them saved him (however well-intentioned they were, they clearly didn't do enough). I do feel sorry for his poor teacher who sounds wracked with guilt and does seem to have tried to raise concerns.

Serious case reviews always say 'lessons will be learned' but we keep seeing cases with similar features and similar failures - this sounds horribly like a case we were told about when I did safeguarding training at ds's school.

handcream Wed 05-Jun-13 19:03:52

What a very upsetting story. Why do people do this to a child? I realise that the case is ongoing so I guess lets see what happens.

FWIW - my DM always brings a loaf of bread into the school she volunteers for (retired years ago) for the children whose parents cannot be bothered to get out of bed to give them breakfast... I think they should hang their heads in shame. What is the point of having children if you cannot be bothered to look after them.

handcream Wed 05-Jun-13 19:09:28

Lets hope whatever the outcome of the case - whoever is found guility will rot in jail FOREVER. This case wasnt about lashing out in anger once, it went on and on and on....

mymatemax Wed 05-Jun-13 19:11:23

poor, poor little boy.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 05-Jun-13 19:21:23

I didn't read the Daily Mail website but on the Coventry Telegraph site they have text messages which were allegedly sent between the "parents". Absolutely sickening, the poor child.

This is the CT link if people want to avoid the daily mail.
www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/coventry-boy-daniel-pelka-killed-4044781

Pan Wed 05-Jun-13 19:31:19

This report really really upsets and angers me. Society at large just doesn't seem to get the message that children are different to adults.

I was a Safeguarding children rep on a LA for a couple of years recently,and I can say honestly this would not have happened in any of our schools. The staff with S/guarding-specific responsibilities were too well prepared and knew exactly what to do. We have massive institutions designed to not let this happen, well-paid and allegedly aware chiefs. Care of little ones is all our responsibility, esp when the primary care-givers aren't up to the v demanding task.
If I hear the words 'lessons will be learned' from the SCR, I'll sink inside.

Feenie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:49:33

Isn't this exactly the same as a situation another poor mite - Lauren Wright - went through some years ago? They used the case as an example in our CP training of how this should never, ever happen again. What the hell has gone wrong this time that nearly the exact scenario can occur? Poor, poor child. sad sad

Oh God, I really wish I hadn't read that link to the Coventry article. Those text messages are absolutely horrendous. That poor poor boy sad

Feenie - my school also had the Lauren Wright case in our CP training.

We were told basically, if any concerns whatsoever, report, report, report.

Pan Wed 05-Jun-13 19:58:03

oh it goes back decades, doesn't it? A 'learning' from the Jasmine Beckford case mid 80's was about not seeing the adults as the 'client' and relegating the needs of the child. At root children are being shoe-horned into a world driven by adult needs, be those personal or professional.
At the mo in my office we have a 16 yo being 'abused' in every way by a 42 yo male. She is a care-leaver, and the authorities say to me 'she's now an adult so back off'. No she isn't. She's a child in an adult's world. It's all so preventable IF some people in authority show some gumption for what is right.
Bla-de-blah. It's utterly tragic.

k2togm1 Wed 05-Jun-13 20:11:58

Omg those texts!! I really don't understand how these things are still allowed to happen! I am only a peripatetic teacher and I am trained to spot things, how can the rest of the system be so wrong???

edam Wed 05-Jun-13 20:15:33

Those text messages are sickening. Good grief.

I'm sure the serious case review will say 'lessons will be learned'. Like every other one. And nothing will change. Happens in the NHS all the time, doubt social services or education are much different. I once heard someone at a patient safety conference admit she was the relevant official in the PCT responsible for serious case reviews, and that they really did just sit on a shelf...

We also discussed Lauren Wright during my safeguarding training - she had been a pupil at a school in my borough, although I gather killed after they had moved.

I had hoped things had improved since the days when my father, sister and I were begging SS and the NHS to realise that our mentally-ill ex-Stepmother was in sole charge of our little half-sister, and they needed to think about the child's safety. Mental health professionals refused to speak to my Dad because he was divorced from ex-step - but couldn't see that they had a responsibility for the child's safety, even if they couldn't give my Dad details of the adult's diagnosis or treatment.

Oh Lord, reading that is so distressing, I just don't even know what to say. RIP Daniel, you were so so let down.

timtam23 Wed 05-Jun-13 21:14:44

The BBC news reports on this case are so distressing and I haven't dared look at the text messages link. That poor poor little mite, trying to eat old apple cores out of the classroom bin, and even the dried beans from the play area sad

imaginethat Wed 05-Jun-13 21:23:20

I feel very sad for the teacher's assistant who spent most of her time with Daniel in his last week. She must have felt agonised about being unable to do more for him. I did find myself thinking, could they not just have phoned an ambulance? but from what I read it appeared that proper and sensible responses are pretty much banned by legislation.
I did also think that the teacher's obvious care and affection for Daniel was probably the one drop of light in his little life.

I have just read the Cov. Telegraph report. I feel sick. That poor baby.

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