A toddler was killed by his own mother after she was driven to a sudden mental breakdown following a campaign of bullying by her Ryanair pilot fiancé.

James Chilvers, who was just 23 months old, was stabbed to death by his mum Magdalena Lesicka, 32, before she tried and failed to take her own life too.

She was found that night by fiancé Peter Chilvers, who had subjected her to "living hell" through a series of bizarre, cruel acts of degradation.

He had just returned from a flight to Tenerife and rushed Lesicka to the hospital, unaware of the brutal attack that had been unleashed on their young child upstairs.

After concern for the toddler was raised, police found him dead on his bed at their home in Wythenshawe, south Manchester.

Two years on from the vicious killing, the facts of the case can be reported for the first time.

James Chilvers playing outside the house in Wythenshawe where he was found dead

Magdalena Lesicka was jailed for 15 years at a hearing in July 2018 for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

And Peter Chilvers was given 18 months in jail on December 19 for his part in the death of his son.

The pair were dealt with in separate hearings.

"As a tragic, innocent victim he (James) was caught, caught between two warring parents," Mr Justice Dove told Lesicka as he sentenced her in Preston last year.

"Whatever the rights and wrongs of that dispute, the last thing that should have happened was that he should have lost his life - killed by a parent."

The court heard that Chilvers' domestic and psychological abuse had a devastating effect on his former partner's mental health and ultimately cost his son his life.

Lesicka's sentencing hearing heard she had suffered "deliberate, relentless and ultimately overwhelming psychological torment".

Peter Chilvers

This included violence and threats of violence, Chilvers telling Lesicka he would take James away from her, and bizarre acts of degradation, including squeezing her nose so she couldn't breathe.

He even made her eat hairs he had plucked from his head.

He had also been having an affair with a female cabin crew member, who also worked for Ryanair.

Lesicka had been planning to split with Chilvers in the days before James' death, on August 26, 2017, after she described their relationship as a "living hell".

Peter Chilvers' trial for controlling or coercive behaviour ended with a guilty verdict at Manchester Crown Court last month.

He was convicted of displaying controlling or coercive behaviour between December 2015 and August 2017, as well as counts of common assault and damaging property.

Magdalena Lesicka with James Chilvers

"(Lesicka) could not cope with being trapped in an abusive, humiliating and dishonest relationship with the father of her son," prosecutor Rob Hall told Chilvers' trial.

Reporting restrictions had prevented publication of the details of both cases until now.

Chilvers' trial heard he had been violent towards Lesicka after finding out she had had an abortion in secret.

Lesicka had even made telling internet searches including "taser uk law", "self defence weapons uk" and "killing in self defence".

In the days before she killed her son, Lesicka had contacted the police about Chilvers and was planning for a life without him. 

She had contacted a women's charity which advised her to log any incidents, and she was also researching rental properties.

But Chilvers said he wanted to stay with Lesicka for James' sake.

Peter Chilvers

Police informed Lesicka that officers would arrest Chilvers on the night of August 26, when he was due to fly back into Manchester from Tenerife.

But she begged them not to arrest him. Lesicka killed her son that same night.

The court heard the mother had succumbed to "pure pressure".

A post-mortem examination revealed the boy had suffered multiple stab wounds.

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At Lesicka's sentencing hearing, Mr Justice Dove told her: "James Chilvers was not quite two years old when he was brutally stabbed to death by you.

"It was a sustained attack with a knife in which multiple blows were struck whilst he was on his bed at home.

"There was no conceivable outcome other than he would be killed.

"His unique presence in the world was taken from us. Who knows what he might have grown up to achieve?"

Speaking of her mental illness, Lesicka's barrister Mr Roberts said: "It was not a condition that had been previously diagnosed.

"It was not a condition that was wilfully exacerbated by the defendant.

"The significant feature of this case is this accused has never had any mental health difficulties at all in her life.

"The onset of this particular abnormality was very rapid and sudden.

"It was induced by the deliberate, relentless and ultimately overwhelming psychological torment inflicted on her by Peter Chilvers.

"It was imposed upon her repeatedly."

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