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A 15-year-old boy was beaten with a bed frame, whipped with an extension cord and stabbed with a needle in a “torture” operation that led to his death, according to a court. Sebastian Kalinowski, 15, he died last August after “untreated complications from multiple broken ribs” led to an infection.
It is believed that he arrived after weeks of “cruel assault and abuse” at the hands of his mother and his partner.
Leeds Crown Court heard that the 15-year-old had been in the UK for less than a year, having left Poland to live with his mother Agnieszka Kalinowska, 35, and her partner Andrzej Latoszewski, from 36.
After the couple were arrested in connection with Sebastian’s death, police seized surveillance cameras from their home in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which prosecutor Jason Pitter QC said were partially set up for “remote monitoring”. and exercise control over Sebastián.” “In a twist, it was this system that recorded the abuses that he had to endure,” he told the court.
Agnieszka Kalinowski and Latoszewski deny murder and other charges of involuntary manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child and negligence charges.
Mr Pitter said both defendants would argue that Sebastian’s treatment was an “appropriate punishment”.
The court heard that Sebastian arrived at Huddersfield in October 2020, with teaching staff describing him as “a pleasant and well-mannered boy” who was “observed as quiet and shy and at times apparently sad”.
Mr Pitter said: “At first it seemed that, to Kalinowska at least, she was happy that her son was here with her. She was described as “beaten up” by a friend.
“If it was correct, that would have changed quickly, unfortunately.”
He told the jury that the defendants’ attitude on New Year’s Eve was that Sebastian was “some kind of a nuisance” and they said he was a liar and that he was skipping school.
Mr. Pitter told the jury: “It can be concluded that these were attempts to justify what they would have presented as the necessity of Sebastian’s ‘sanctions’.
“The punishments, if they can be so aptly described, were cruel in every way and became increasingly severe and violent over time.”
He said: “It seems that the sanctions were triggered by things like Sebastian dropping food on the floor in his room or even going to the bathroom at night.”
The jury was told that Sebastian’s “discipline has become progressively stricter since January 2021” and that he has been “deliberately isolated from others, both as part of the punishment system and to cover up the abuse.”
Pitter said Latoszewski called emergency services to the defendants’ home on August 13 “after Sebastian had been unconscious for approximately two and a half hours.”
He told the jury that Latoszewski said he found Sebastian in the bathtub with his head underwater, “possibly suggesting that he drowned.”
The court heard that an examination of Sebastian revealed injuries, including bruises to his buttocks, forehead, jaw, stomach, arms and legs, and several broken ribs.
Mr Pitter said: “[The defendants’] phones have been confiscated and this installed CCTV system has been challenged.
“Together, their content documents the catalog of abuses Sebastián suffered before his death.
“A broad description is that Sebastian is attacked mostly and most violently by Latoszewski, but his mother is involved on several occasions.
“It contained messages and transcripts of conversations in which the defendants spoke to Sebastian in the most derogatory and inhumane manner in relation to the perceived need to punish him.
“This included forcing him to do physical and humiliating exercises, even when he was too weak to actually do it.”
Footage shown to the jury included Latoszewski hitting Sebastian’s buttocks with a bed board, Pitter said.
Other clips included Latoszewski exercising Sebastian and whipping him with an extension cord to “stimulate” him.
Pitter said the video from Latoszewski’s phone also included clips of him “cursing” over a “visibly distraught” Sebastian.
On August 10 of last year, Pitter said, security cameras showed abuse against Sebastian beginning at 8:15 a.m. m. and continuing “at least” at 4:10 p.m. m.
He added that at one point Kalinowska “took the place of stabbing Sebastian with the needle.”
The jury heard that on the morning of Sebastian’s last day, Sebastian “went through the routine of being assaulted by the two defendants.”