Ryanair pilot's mental abuse drove partner to kill toddler son

19 December 2019, 20:59

Magda Lesicka described Peter Chilvers as a "controlling monster"
Magda Lesicka described Peter Chilvers as a "controlling monster". Picture: Greater Manchester Police
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A woman who stabbed her 23-month-old son to death following a mental breakdown caused by her bullying boyfriend has described him as a "controlling monster."

Peter Chilvers, 33, was jailed for 18 months on Thursday following a conviction of controlling and coercive behaviour against Magdalena Lesicka.

Polish national Lesicka, also 33, was sentenced to 15 years in prison last July for stabbing to death their 23-month-old son at her home in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester.

She admitted manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility on the basis her mental illness rapidly emerged without prior warning.

Lesicka claimed to have no memory of committing the offence that occurred in August 2017.

At her sentencing hearing, it was explained that she was the victim of relentless psychological torment from the flight captain Chilvers.

He threatened to kill Lesicka on a number of occasions if she removed their son from his care.

Lesicka said her life had been "changed forever"
Lesicka said her life had been "changed forever". Picture: Greater Manchester Police

Chilvers also demanded the pair continue to live together at a new home he bought in the Cheshire village of Wincham.

The Polish national gave evidence in the prosecution of Peter Chilvers at Manchester Crown Court.

A statement from Lesicka was described as "a closing chapter on the most horrific experience I have ever had and now I only have my flawed memory to work out how it got to this point."

She added: "It's hard to see myself as a victim given the tragic outcome. I know my life has been changed forever and there is nothing I can do change it back.

"I have the rest of my life to contemplate these events and it is a daunting prospect.

"When I started a relationship with Peter Chilvers I had absolutely no idea he would be the controlling monster I discovered him to be."

The pair met when they were both working for Ryanair in 2010 and stayed together for four years, until the pilot cheated on her with another cabin crew member who is now the mother to his two young daughters.

Chilvers was described by his lawyer as "a man on the edge"
Chilvers was described by his lawyer as "a man on the edge". Picture: Greater Manchester Police

Between December 2015 and August 2017, the flight captain was physically violent towards Lesicka, forced her into degrading sexual acts and isolated her from her friends.

Chilvers, of Hewitt Grove, who has no previous convictions or cautions, was last month cleared by the jury of two allegations of rape and one count of assault by penetration.

Reporting restrictions were lifted on the case, following Lesicka waiving her right to anonymity as a sexual offence complainant.

Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field QC said to Chilvers: "Whilst I accept that the jury acquitted you of the more serious sexual offences, it is undoubtedly the case that throughout the relevant period, particularly when you and Magdalena Lesicka were not sharing a bed, you continued to treat her as your sexual property.

"To use her words, you would help yourself to her body and she would consent because she felt that she had to do whatever was required of her. Such was your control that she felt she had to put up with it.

"Throughout the period with which this indictment is concerned your behaviour towards Magdalena Lesicka was that of a selfish, entitled bully. I have detected no more than a hint of your remorse."

Mark Ford QC, defending, said character references for Chilvers painted a "very different picture" to that given by Lesicka.

DCI Richard Eales said the result of the case served justice to young James Chilvers
DCI Richard Eales said the result of the case served justice to young James Chilvers. Picture: PA

Mr Ford said the defendant was the sole carer for their two young daughters while his new partner was out at work and that immediate custody would be a "significant threat" to his mental health.

Arguing for a suspended sentence, he said: "In short, he is a man on the edge. Just a few years ago Peter Chilvers had the world at his feet. Now he faces the difficult and, if I may say so, painful challenge of rebuilding his life."

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Eales, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "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."

Mr Justice Dove, who was sentencing Lesicka at Preston Crown Court, said the almost 2-year-old James Chilvers was a "tragic innocent victim caught between two warring parents."

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