Today, the mother and stepfather of Daniel Pelka, the 4 year old boy who was abused and starved to death, were sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murder. Daniel Pelka was held prisoner in his own house and kept in a tiny box room with no handle on the inside. He was intentionally starved, force fed salt and held underwater in a bath until he was unconscious. Apparently, the poor boy was so scared of his stepfather that he would wet himself when spoken to by an adult man. The police found evidence in text messages that suggested ongoing abuse. One text said “There’s no point to call the ambulance as that will cause proper problems.” Prosecutors believe this was sent while Daniel was unconscious. In court, both of the defendants tried to cover it up by blaming the other one for his death. The stepfather said he only wanted to make the mother happy while the mother went as far as to claim that the stepfather raped her, which I then imagine would have turned into something along the lines of “I wanted to stop him but I was too scared. I knew what he would do to me if I tried to stop him.” The mother also said that he had died after the stepfather had attacked Daniel after he wet the bed while the stepfather said he was injured in a series of falls. The 2 had constantly tried to divert attention away from the abuse, at one point they convinced people that he had a genetically inherited eating disorder which made him constantly hungry. People keep saying that the police, social services, the NHS and even teachers should have noticed the abuse and tried to interject earlier but it’s not like the abuse went unnoticed. Daniel had been caught in school with food stuffed in his pockets and down his trousers, going through bins to find food and was even caught trying to eat the remains of a pear he had found in a bin 2 days before he was pronounced dead. Although teachers had seen Daniel bruised they still did nothing. There really is no excuse for this but I believe it was part of the bystander effect. People see trouble and don’t interject because they believe someone else will. We’ve all probably done it at some point but, in this case, if people had interjected then Daniel may still be alive. He was likened to that of a concentration camp victim, weighing only 1st 9lbs, about the weight of an 18 month old baby, (about the weight of 10 and a half whole pineapples). He was only 3’3″ tall, 6 inches short of the average height of a 4 year old boy. How a mother can abuse her own child this way is incomprehensible. The society we live in seem to, in my opinion, just allow these terrible things to happen then rant about it for a couple of weeks when the child is found dead and it’s all over the news. When will it end? Will the cycle end when the next little girl/boy is found dead from ongoing abuse? Probably not. But I can say one thing, if this was the Prime Minister or the President’s child then the second any sense of abuse was suspected, the authorities wouldn’t hesitate to intervene. Why won’t they intervene with “normal” average citizens? Is it going to take the death of a world leader’s child to open up Government’s eyes to abuse and enforce new, stricter laws? If that is what it would take then we will be waiting a VERY long time to see anything properly being done about these issues. People need to realise that, no matter how difficult and messy the situation is or gets, the sooner you intervene, the better. If they come up with some excuse for why that child has bruises then push and intervene again and again until you are listened to. It might just save another child’s life. It could have easily saved Daniel’s, along with hundreds of others.