Lee denies making up stories about fall
THE man accused of murdering Tyler Whelan has told a court he did not make up a story in a bid to account for the boy’s fatal injuries.
Elvis Lee spent a second day in the stand giving evidence during the trial at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday.
Under cross-examination by prosecutor Christopher Donnellan QC, he was accused of inventing a story claiming that Tyler had fallen from the kitchen work surface on to the floor on March 7 last year in a bid to account for the five-year-old’s injuries.
Lee (34), of Crabtree, Paston, has admitted to the manslaughter of Tyler.
However, he has pleaded not guilty to murder and two counts of cruelty to a child.
Tyler’s mother, Stephanie Whelan (27), who lived at Sheepwalk, Paston, at the time of the incident, denies causing or allowing the death of a child and two counts of cruelty to a child.
Lee has told the jury that he and Whelan, who were a couple at the time of the incident, had been woken at 6am on March 7 by a noise downstairs.
He said when they went to investigate they had found Tyler lying on the ground next to the breakfast bar in the kitchen with a bleeding nose.
While Mr Donnellan questioned this Lee stood by his account of events.
Mr Donnellan said: “This idea that he fell off the work surface – whose idea was it to say that?”
Lee responded: “It wasn’t an idea. It is fact that it happened.”
Mr Donnellan said; “But you did not see it happen.”
Lee replied: “The proof is in the pudding. Tyler told us it happened.”
Mr Donnellan said: “It is just a story you have been peddling.”
But Lee said: “I understand why you are saying I am a liar because I lied about the death of Tyler Whelan.
“But Stephanie also said he fell off the edge. You can’t call her a liar.”
Mr Donnellan said: “Was it you that hit him causing injuries to his nose?”
Lee said: “I couldn’t have. I was in bed asleep.”
Lee admitted he kicked and bit Tyler after he had hidden behind a chair when he called for him later that morning.
Mr Donnellan said the only reason Tyler had hidden away from Lee was because he was “frightened” of him.
But Lee denied that Tyler had any cause to be frightened of him.
He said: “No. He had never had a reason to be frightened of me.
“He’s hid from his mum before, that doesn’t mean he was frightened of her.”
Mr Donnellan said: “When you kicked him how far did he fly across the room?”
Lee said: “I am not one hundred per cent sure as he was trying to get away. I suppose a couple of feet. “I am not sure he left the floor.” He admitted that he was “moody” on the morning he kicked Tyler but people knew that he could be moody when he was woken up unexpectedly.
Lee told the jury that later during the morning after he kicked Tyler, the boy came to see him and Whelan in their bedroom gasping and complaining that his stomach hurt.
He said they checked his stomach but he did not think he was responsible for the mark that they saw on his belly.
Lee said: “No, I didn’t think I was responsible.
“I was kicked and punched at that age and never had such an injury. I was kicked and punched by my dad.”
Lee also said he had been shocked when he read a medical report which revealed that Tyler had not eaten any breakfast on March 7.
He said that Tyler had asked for a bowl of cereal – a combination of Shreddies and Cornflakes – after he had kicked him and he said he and Whelan had thought he had eaten half of the bowl.
However, the post-mortem report carried out by the pathologist showed there were no traces of cereal found when his body was analysed after his death.
The court also heard about how Lee had bruised Stephanie Whelan’s face after he kicked her while she was down on the floor during a row.
Lee had said during his first day in the stand on Tuesday how he had been taking part in an Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme to help control his temper.
But on January 21, 2011, weeks before Tyler died, Stephanie Whelan and he had a row where Whelan had punched him but ended up on the floor.
Lee said that while she was on the floor he kicked out at her face.
He made contact with her left eye and caused a bruise which was later examined at the hospital.
The trial continues.
From left to right, Tyler Whelan, Elvis Lee and Stephanie Whelan.