Top Line

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Couple tortured daughter to death then hid corpse in apartment for three years to claim child benefits

Couple tortured daughter to death then hid corpse in apartment for three years to claim child benefits Oct 19, 2014 15:50 By Anthony Bond The five-year-old girl's mummified body was only discovered after bailiffs evicted the mum and stepdad from their rented apartment EuroPics[CEN]Lucka was tortured to death by her mother Alexandra Hrotakova, 43 and stepfather Juraj Hrotak, 34 A mum and stepdad who tortured their daughter to death and hid her corpse for three years so they could continue to claim child benefit have been jailed for 31 years. The heartless pair stashed the dead five-year-old in a locked room in their rented apartment so they could rake in the extra cash from the government and were only found out when they were being evicted and bailiffs discovered the tiny mummified body. A court heard that Juraj Hrotak, 34, regularly beat and starved his partner, Alexandra Hrotakova, and her daughter, Lucka, and it is believed she eventually died from the abuse in around 2009. Three years later the owner of the pair's apartment in Bratislava, Slovakia, wanted to reclaim the property but when they refused to leave police and bailiffs became involved and it was only then that tragic Lucka's body was discovered. The court also heard how despite the fact Hrotak beat the child the mother had done absolutely nothing to stop the battery - and neither were present in court for the final decision of District Court Bratislava 1 this week. The murderous duo have finally been sentence after exhausting their final appeal. Hrotak must serve 17 years in prison for torturing the girl and 18 months for living in the apartment without permission. Hrotakova, 43, was sentenced to 14 years in prison because she failed as mother and did not protect her daughter or provide basic care. The district court senate chairman Michal Kacani said: "Juraj Hrotak caused the death of the girl in a very brutal and torturing way." The biological father of Lucka, Milan Luknar, 43, said that after Alexandra left him for Hrotak he had taken his daughter to live with him, but had been forced by police to give her back when Alexandra reported him. The case has caused mass criticism in Slovakia because social workers did not know about the missing child, especially when she was supposed to go to school for two years but never turned up. When neighbours would ask where Lucka was her mother would say she was with her grandmother or aunt in the city of Kosice. Other neighbours thought she had been taken away by social workers, the court also heard. Child welfare advisor Ida Zelinska said the sentences were a warning that violence was not tolerated against children. She said: "The violence on children is the worst thing. The long prison sentences for the couple potentially protect other children." Father Luknar, who told local media in 2012 that his daughter was two-years-old when he last saw her, said after the court case: "I wanted a lifetime imprisonment for both of them."