Crime

Police: Man Killed Stepdaughter After Losing Video Game

| by Michael Howard

A man in Poland is accused of killing his 2-year-old stepdaughter by throwing her into a door frame after losing his temper over a video game.

Police say Szymon Brzozowski, 24, grabbed hold of his stepdaughter, Lilka, and threw her at the door's metal frame in a fit of rage. Moments before, he had reportedly lost the game he was playing on his computer.

The toddler did not lose consciousness, but refused to eat or drink anything after the incident, reports the Daily Mail. Two days passed before her 24-year-old mother, Angelika, took her to a hospital.

Prosecutors say that when Lilka arrived at the hospital, she had various injuries to her skull and brain. She died three days later, during surgery.

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Angelika was the one who told investigators that Brzozowski threw her daughter into the door frame after having lost his video game.

The young girl had reportedly been treated for injuries in the past, which authorities believed were caused by domestic violence. However, Angelika told social workers that Lilka was clumsy and had a habit of banging into things.

Speaking to investigators, Brzozowski reportedly said he preferred to punish children by locking them in the bathroom or making them stand in a corner.

He is charged with child abuse that led to the death of a child, and also of psychologically abusing his wife and her two other children.

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Angelika is charged with failing to provide necessary medical assistance.

If convicted, Brzozowski faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.

A 2011 survey found that domestic violence is widespread in Poland. Thirty-eight percent of Poles know at least one family in which physical violence takes place, while 7 percent know at least one family in which sexual violence takes place, according to Radio Poland.

The study further concluded that 17 percent of people hesitate to address the issue of domestic violence out of fear that doing so would only make matters worse for the victim.

Meanwhile 25 percent of respondents said they do not think neighbors or acquaintances have an obligation to act on behalf of a victim of domestic violence, since in their view it is hard to know which party is actually responsible.

And 16 percent said there are circumstances that would justify the use of violence in the home.

Overall, about 26 percent of Poles said they have been on the receiving end of physical violence at some point in their lives.

Sources: Daily Mail, Radio Poland / Photo credit: Yumi Kimura/Flickr

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