The aunt of murdered four-year-old Daniel Pelka says the little boy might be alive if she had asked more questions to discover the truth about her older sister's campaign of abuse.
Sylwia Luczak, the younger sister of Daniel's mother Magdelena Luczak, said she partly blamed herself for the tragic Daniel's death.
Magdelena, 27, and Mariusz Krezolek, 34, were jailed for at least 30 years last week after a judge said they had starved Daniel so severely that his bones had stopped growing.
He died following months of appalling abuse that culminated in a fatal head injury caused by a savage beating.
But Sylwia, 24, insisted that despite having problems with alcohol her sister had been a normal mother until she met Krezolek.
"When Magda was pregnant with Daniel, she behaved like any other expectant mother," she said.
"I saw them often when Daniel was little and I am sure she loved him."
She recalled how her sister had bought her son toys and taken him on family trips to the seaside and a theme park.
"I hold Mariusz directly responsible for killing Daniel," she said.
"And I hold my sister responsible for failing in her maternal duty to protect her child.
"I also blame myself. I wish I had asked more questions and discovered the truth. Then Daniel might still be alive today."
She said the couple had lied to her just as they lied to the council and the police, but she added she could not understand why Daniel was not removed from the house by the authorities, who 'knew Mariusz was a violent drunk who beat up Magda'.
Sylwia, who lives near her sister's former home in Coventry, gave evidence for the prosecution during her sister's nine-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
She has now been forced to move to a secret address after being cut off by some of the city's Polish community and after her house was attacked.
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