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Parents jailed after toddler stabbed to death in Wythenshaw

Peter Chilvers and Magdalena Lesicka

Two parents have been jailed following the death of a toddler in Wythenshaw.

The court heard how in the early hours of Sunday 27 August 2017, police were called to Beaford Road to a report of a domestic incident. Upon arrival they discovered the body of one-year-old James Chilvers in the bath. He had suffered catastrophic stab wounds.

Magdalena Lesicka – James’ mum – had left before police arrived and gone to hospital with James’ dad – Peter Chilvers. She was being treated for serious, self-inflicted stab wounds.

In the days that followed, Magdalena was arrested in hospital and remained under watch by police until she recovered from her injuries.

Whilst investigating the circumstances of James’ death, detectives established that Magdalena had been subjected to systematic abuse by Peter Chilvers prior to the tragic incident in 2017.

Magdalena Lesicka (17/11/86) of Beaford Road, Wythenshawe pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility at Preston Crown Court on Thursday 12 July 2018. She is currently serving 15 years in prison.

Today (Thursday 19 December 2019), Peter Chilvers (22/04/86) of Hewitt Grove, Northwich was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square to 1 year and 6 months in prison. He was previously found guilty of coercive and controlling behaviour, common assault and criminal damage following a 5 week trial.

During Magdalena’s impact statement which was read out in court, she said: “I hope he [Peter Chilvers] recognises that he didn’t need to break me in the way he did. He has taken everything from me, including my spirit.”

Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Eales, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This has been one of the most devastating and complex cases that I have ever come across. I speak for myself and many other colleagues when I say that our thoughts will always remain with James – an innocent little boy who lost his life so needlessly.

“Understandably the death of James sent shockwaves through the community and I know the tragic loss of James has been felt by all those who knew and loved him. Today’s result is the culmination of hard work and determination from detectives who have been absolutely committed to this case over the past two years and I would like to thank them for their dedication and resolve in the most distressing of circumstances.

“Peter Chilvers inflicted significant domestic abuse towards Magdalena Lesicka over a sustained period of time, which the court accepts contributed towards a break down in her mental health on that fateful evening in August 2017.

“If people take anything away from this heartbreaking case, please let it be that there is support and help available for those who are suffering at the hands of domestic abuse.

“Most importantly though, I hope today’s result has seen justice served for the person who matters most – James.”