Former flight attendant Magda Lesicka, 33, was subjected to relentless psychological torment by Peter Chilvers, a flight captain with the budget airline, as she felt trapped in the toxic relationship, a court heard.
Lesicka, who met Chilvers while also working for the Dublin-based carrier, inflicted a sustained attack on their son, James Chilvers, at her home in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, on August 26, 2017.
She tried to kill herself after knifing the boy multiple times.
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, Lisa Spencer, who is now his partner and mother to his two young daughters.
Chilvers, 33, from Northwich, Cheshire, denied any wrongdoing and subsequently went on trial at Manchester Crown Court where a jury convicted him last month of controlling or coercive behaviour.
The former couple were dealt with in separate hearings.
As he rushed her to hospital he had no idea she had killed James.
At Lesicka’s sentencing hearing in Preston in July last year, the court heard she suffered “deliberate, relentless and ultimately overwhelming psychological torment”.
Chilvers was violent towards her, repeatedly threatened to kill her if she removed their son from his care, carried out bizarre acts of cruelty, isolated her from her friends and restricted her finances.
On one occasion, he squeezed her nose tightly so she couldn’t breathe.
He also nicknamed her “sheep” and referred to himself as a “sheep owner”, the court heard, while Lesicka told the jury the pilot would pick errant hairs from his forehead and force her to swallow them.
He demanded they continue to live together at a new home he bought in the Cheshire village of Wincham, jurors heard.
The pilot warned her in a “visceral” 33-minute phone call – played in court – on August 26 that she did not have the financial resources to win a custody battle and shouted: “I want James to have brothers and sisters… not a half-brother and sister with a f***ing moron that you find.”
The court heard Lesicka had been planning to leave Chilvers in the days before she killed their son.
The couple had been in relationship since 2010 but Chilvers cheated on Lesicka from 2014 with another Ryanair cabin crew member.
Her fear of him was revealed in court, which heard Lesicka made internet searches about “taser UK law”, “self defence weapons UK” and “killing in self defence” in the days before James’ death. She later contacted domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid.
Lesicka phoned Greater Manchester Police and two police officers were sent to her address on August 25 where she showed them bruises to her arms and thigh.
She was informed the next day – the day of the killing – that Chilvers would be arrested after he flew back to the UK and a scared Lesicka said she did not want that to happen.
The Crown accepted Lesicka’s defence that she killed James following a breakdown induced by the “deliberate, relentless and ultimately overwhelming psychological torment” inflicted by Chilvers who had portrayed a “landscape of unending misery if she did not comply with his demands”.
At Manchester Crown Court last month, Chilvers was found guilty of controlling or coercive behaviour between December 2015 and August 2017, as well as counts of common assault and damaging property.
The trial heard that Chilvers had been violent towards his partner after finding out she had had an abortion without telling him.
Rob Hall, prosecuting, told Chilvers’ trial: “(Lesicka) could not cope with being trapped in an abusive, humiliating and dishonest relationship with the father of her son.”
He said Chilvers’s intention may have been to aid any forthcoming legal proceedings over his son’s future but instead he had inadvertently confirmed his “bullying, controlling, self-centred nature”.
Lesicka had described their relationship as a “living hell”.
Chilvers told her he wanted to stay with her for their son’s sake.
Police had told Lesicka that they would arrest Chilvers on the night of August 26, 2017, once he returned home following a flight from Tenerife.
But she begged the force not to arrest him and to just log her complaint.
Lesicka killed James the night that police said they would arrest Chilvers.
When she was sentenced, 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.
“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 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.”