Wicked acts of Ryanair pilot that drove fiancee to kill their toddler son

Magdalena Lesicka's life became a 'living hell' – but no-one knew the true extent of her torture until it was far too late.

The mum – tormented by her fiance's coercive abuse – suffered a breakdown of such severity that she turned on her innocent son James and stabbed him to death.

She then tried to take her own life too.

The young family, living in Wythenshawe, Manchester, who had outwardly had seemed to have the world at their feet, was completely destroyed.

What started as a whirlwind romance ended with a two-year-old boy dead, his mother jailed for 15 years for his manslaughter, and his father, Peter Chilvers, yesterday jailed for 18 months for the domestic abuse which triggered her breakdown. 

A court has now heard how Lesicka was subjected to a relentless psychological abuse by Chilvers, a Ryanair pilot.

She felt trapped her in a toxic relationship where his cruel, degrading torment drove her to desperation, reports the Manchester Evening News.


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Chilvers had inflicted a campaign of cruelty against Lesicka, forcing her into degrading sexual acts and into eating hairs he plucked from his head, while he had an affair with another flight attendant, who is mother to his two young daughters.

A 'controlling monster'

'Magda', as she was known to friends, had been a confident young air stewardess when she first met Chilvers, an ambitious young pilot, in 2010.

The pair had fallen for each other at their work Christmas party in Germany, when both were working for Ryanair. 

After he attended her 24th birthday party, they chatted on Facebook and slept together for the first time.

Soon flight attendant Lesicka and Chilvers were wrapped up love and the lifestyle of travel that came with their jobs.

Within weeks they had moved in together, and it wasn't long before Chilvers, the son of retired teachers, soon began to show a bullying side to his character.

The first sign came after a drunken night out.

Chilvers had vomited everywhere so Lesicka slept on the sofa, to avoid getting any sick on her.

When he woke up, Chilvers accused her of not loving him, shouted at her, slammed the doors and banged on a wall. Lesicka ended up apologising to him.

It was, prosecutors would later say after their relationship had unravelled with such horrendous consequences, an early indication of the behaviour Chilvers would use to 'intimidate and control' Lesicka.

He would become, in her words, 'a controlling monster'.


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It had meant everything to Peter Chilvers to become a pilot.

His family had made huge sacrifices to help him achieve his dream.

As he put it, 'they all really believed in me and I wanted to succeed in life'.

His parents re-mortgaged their home to help pay the £130,000 it cost to qualify, and his grandmother lent him some of her life savings.

Chilvers, originally from Stoke-on-Trent, had first become interested in flying as a teenager who was into gliding.

He went on to study modern history and international relations at university, and during his studies the advice of a family friend made him set on becoming a pilot.

By January 2011 he and Magdalena Lesicka were 'head over heels in love'.


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But when they moved to the UK, Lesicka began to feel more isolated, being further away from her family in her native Poland.

She had got a staff transfer after Chilvers moved to Liverpool for work, moving in with him to a caravan in Frodsham, Cheshire, and then a nearby rental cottage, as they embarked on a new life together.

But, as time wore on, Chilvers behaviour towards his partner got worse and worse.

Prosecutors would later tell how he 'repeatedly mistreated and bullied her at ever increasing levels to see what he could get away with'.

There was irrational jealousy, picking fights, accusing her of being 'too friendly' with other men when they went out.

There was casual sadism, like pinching her – or suddenly holding her nose and mouth, as they kissed, so she couldn't breathe, only releasing his grip as she squirmed in distress.

And there were his rages, with Chilvers backing Lesicka into a corner, banging the wall above her head with his fist as she cowered.

He would blame her for these things – or deny anything had happened.

"Peter Chilvers treated Magda Lesicka as if she was a possession to do with as he pleased," Rob Hall, the prosecutor in his trial said.


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A troubled engagement

Despite all this, both seemed set on further committment.

One day Chilvers took Lesicka to a beauty spot beside Coniston Water, a favourite destination of his family growing up.

After a walk there, Chilvers decided to 'pop the question', but the moment was killed, according to him, when she said, 'I hope you are not going to propose to me'.

Nonetheless, on February 29, 2012, a leap year, the day traditionally women propose to men, Lesicka decided to propose to him – hoping marriage would improve things between them.

Chilvers accepted, but did not tell his family of the proposal for nine months, something that made her feel like she wasn't good enough for him.

They bought custom made rings from a jewellers in Krakow. But they would never marry.

After finding the proposal had not improved their relationship, Lesicka decided to apply for another job.

She moved to Dubai, with Chilvers insisting that she only stay for six months.

They met up around the world when they could, and jurors heard that the long-distance relationship seemed to suit them better.

But when Lesicka returned, they moved to Stoke and Chilvers' controlling behaviour continued.


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In 2014 Lesicka got a new job, working for Cross Country Trains, based at Piccadilly station in Manchester.

Their relationship was still a difficult one, made worse by Chilvers' affair with his collague.

Lesicka found out, and she broke up with him. What she didn't realise at that time was that she had fallen pregnant with Chilvers' child.

Chilvers was angered by the news and demanded that Lesicka have an abortion.

On the phone from a holiday in New Zealand with his parents, Chilvers said having a baby would 'ruin his career and life'.

In messages, he called Lesicka a 'monster', a 'bitch' and a 'selfish c**t' for wanting to have the baby.

"The response from Peter Chilvers was to send her a draft legal contract that outlined their responsibilities if Magda Lesicka kept the baby", prosecutor Rob Hall later told Chilvers' trial.

In April 2015, Lesicka again discovered Chilvers was having an affair – with a female member of Ryanair cabin crew.

Chilvers was promoted to Captain with the airline and he moved to Lanzarote for work. He showed, prosecutors would claim, 'little interest in the pregnancy'.

Cruel bully called fiancee a 'sheep'


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James was born in September 2015, and mother and son joined Chilvers in Lanzarote.

But soon after that, Chilvers began to tell Lesicka that having the baby had taken his freedom away, and that he felt 'betrayed' and 'disgusted' with her.

"Magda Lesicka would do anything for James, including seeking to create a happy home life for him, even if that meant accommodating Peter Chilvers’s attacks on her personality and decision-making", Mr Hall said.

Chilvers throttled Lesicka a number of times.

He regularly subjected her to degrading acts, to which she felt she had no choice but to consent.

He would pull out hairs from his head and put them in her mouth, before ordering her to 'swallow'.

And he 'mentally demeaned' her, calling her a 'sheep' and describing himself as a 'sheep owner'.

Later Lesicka learned that despite his promises to end his affair, Chilvers had carried on with it.

But when Lesicka suggested that she and James should return to the UK from Lanzarote, Chilvers told her: "If you ever try and run away and hide, I will find you and will kill you."


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"He (Chilvers) threatened her that if the issue of who James should live with after they separated ever went to court, he would have more money than her, he would get better lawyers than her and he would make sure that she never saw James again", Rob Hall told Chilvers trial.

In July 2016, the young family moved to Wythenshawe, on a new-build estate close to Manchester Airport.

By 2017, Chilvers work base had become Liverpool Airport, so he regularly stayed in Wythenshawe with them, all the while continuing his affair.

Later that year, Chilvers bought a home in Cheshire to 'lead a life away' from Lesicka, but problems continued.

"On the occasions when Magda Lesicka summoned up enough courage to talk to Peter Chilvers about the state of their relationship and her desire to end their relationship, he would manipulate her into carrying on," Mr Hall said.

At one point in the car, Lesicka dared to confront Chilvers, telling him: "You don’t love me. You don’t love James. You just love yourself."


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Around that time, Lesicka started to confide with her colleagues about the abuse she suffered, and showed them bruises she suffered at Chilvers' hand.

By August 2017 their relationship was in pieces.

In the week before James' death Chilvers went to solicitors to draw up a 'cohabitation contract', which stated Lesicka would have to pay £400 a month to live with him, and she wouldn't have any claim to the ownership of the house.

He assaulted Lesicka in front of James after losing his temper, pushing her to the floor and sitting on her chest, before tickling her as if it was a game.

When Lesicka heard that the woman Chilvers had been having an affair with was moving to work from Manchester Airport, Chilvers became angry and threw her phone to the floor, smashing the screen.

The lead-up to the tragedy

In the days before he died, James went to stay with Chilvers' parents in the Lake District.

Lesicka used the time to start making plans for a new life away from Chilvers.

She researched rental properties, started to make notes about the abuse she had suffered, took pictures of her bruises, and told her manager at work of what was happening in her relationship.

She also went to the police.


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Officers planned to arrest Chilvers when he arrived back in Wythenshawe after flying a Ryanair service to Tenerife.

But when they told Lesicka of their plan, she was fearful of what would happen and begged officers to just log her complaint, rather than carry out the arrest.

Chilvers would have been arrested on the day Lesicka went on to kill James.

He was due to arrive back at Manchester Airport at 11.24pm on August 26.

As he was landing, Lesicka suffered a 'sudden' mental breakdown. She stabbed their son to death in an upstairs bedroom at the house on Beaford Road and then tried to commit suicide.

When Chilvers arrived back at Beaford Road at 11.55pm, Lesicka fell into his arms, seriously injured.


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He took her to hospital, unaware that James was fatally injured.

It was only at the hospital that a concern was raised for the young boy.

Police arrived at the house at about 12.05am, and found the toddler dead.

'Egocentric' pilot who blamed everyone but himself

Officers were only able to speak to Lesicka about James' death two and a half months later, as she had originally been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Later doctors agreed that Lesicka was suffering from 'an abnormality of mental functioning which impaired her ability to understand her own conduct, form a rational judgement or exercise self-control'.

On those grounds, Lesicka, who had not previously suffered from mental health problems, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

On Facebook in September, Chilvers posted a series of pictures of his son, writing: "Jamie, my beautiful and wonderful darling. You would have been 4 today. We all miss you desperately. Two years since your murder and still nothing has been done.

"On this day, your birthday, I solemnly promise you that I will fight for justice for you darling.

I will always love you and always think of you. 'Always always' Daddy."

But in the sentencing hearing this week, Judge Patrick Field QC told Chilvers he had treated Lesicka as his 'property'.

 "I have detected no more than a hint of your remorse and I note that even a doctor describes you as egocentric, having a longing for appreciation, and a reduced ability to understand fully how your behaviour affects others, and that you seek to minimise what you have done wrong and seek to shift the blame to others", the judge told him.

"You apparently have a preoccupation with the injustice of it all.

"That attitude was on full public display when you gave evidence."

Chilvers now has two other children with the cabin crew worker he was having an affair with.

His barrister Mark Ford said that relationship shows a different side to the defendant, as it is 'supportive', 'co-operative' and 'loving'.


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Chilvers, the defence lawyer said, is 'deeply traumatised' by the death of his son, frequently breaking into 'hysterical screaming'.

"It is frankly impossible for anybody to comprehend the ordeal that Mr Chilvers and his family have undergone," Mr Ford said.

"He is, in short, a man on the edge, and he has been for over two years."

The barrister appealed to the judge for Chilvers to be spared jail, because he has no previous convictions and is the 'primary carer' of his two children.

But Judge Field said he had concluded 'without hesitation' that only prison was justified.

As Mr Ford put it, just a few years ago, Chilvers had the 'world at his feet'.

Now he has lost his job, his freedom, and his young son.

'He has taken everything from me'

As for Lesicka, in a statement from her jail cell, she described herself as feeling 'ugly, worthless, defenceless, ashamed and guilty'.

"I have very little left in my life", she said.

Her words were read to the court this week, giving her a voice for the first time as she gave evidence for the prosecution during Chilvers's Manchester Crown Court trial for abusing her, and prepared a victim impact statement to be read on her behalf at his sentencing

In the statement, Lesicka said: "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.

"It is important that the public understand what Peter Chilvers's abuse did to me.

"It destroyed me.

"I have no idea how he achieved this and I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to work out how he turned the confident, ambitious me into what I am now.

"He broke me and I find it almost impossible to contemplate that I let this happen.

"Living with Peter became an exercise of walking on eggshells.

"The best way to describe the latter stages of the relationship is it became a power struggle.

"I tried to leave but he would not let me. I had no power. I tried to break away for the safety of James and myself.

"I failed because Peter would not release me. I failed because Peter had too much control over me.

"I lost all my self respect. My only goal was to get through another day.

"Peter's behaviour stripped me of my dignity. I have very little left in my life, not even my freedom.

"This is my burden to carry. I accept it in the hope that some day I can move forward.

"I was broken by him and I can never be the person I was before I met him.

"I am alone now, I feel ugly, worthless, defenceless, ashamed, guilty and weak.

"Peter was responsible for doing what he did to me. I am genuinely terrified he will do this to someone else.

"I leave Peter's punishment to the court. It's too late for me and everyone affected by his abuse and control.

"I hope he receives a just punishment but more importantly I hope he understands what his behaviour has caused.

"He has taken everything from me, including my spirit."

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