Tyler was killed by ‘violent bully’
(METP-01-05-12PF112) THE man accused of murdering Tyler Whelan is “a violent bully and a coward”, a jury has been told.
Elvis Lee denies murdering the fiveyear-old boy but has admitted manslaughter after kicking the child in the stomach.
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.
Both deny two counts of cruelty to a child.
During his closing speech at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday, Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case is that Elvis Lee is a violent bully and a coward.
“Stephanie Whelan knew that. He had kicked her in the face when they were having a domestic dispute. Stephanie also told police he had control over her.
“She failed in two ways. At the very best she left Tyler in the care of Elvis Lee, a man prone to violent outbursts.
“She also caused his death by a wilful omission to act and call an ambulance.”
Mr Donnellan also said Lee (34), of Crabtree, Paston, had memorised a story about what had happened on the morning of March 7, 2011 when Tyler died.
He said: “There are only two people who really know what happened on that morning. Both defendants have sought to minimise their responsibility for failing to protect Tyler.
“He suffered a catalogue of injuries. You can be sure Elvis Lee is guilty of much more than unlawfully killing Tyler.”
Mr Donnellan told the jury they had to consider what Lee’s state of mind was when he bit and kicked Tyler.
He said: “He chose where he was going to bite Tyler but a moment later he says he didn’t know he was going to kick Tyler. We say at the time he knew exactly what he was doing and carried out the intention.
“To kick at a moving object you have to place your kick, otherwise you kick air and miss. You have to balance yourself. To cause the internal injury suffered by Tyler the kick has to be done with significant force.”
During the trial the jury heard Whelan and Lee say they found Tyler face down on the floor on March 7, after falling from a breakfast bar. Mr Donnellan said the evidence suggested Tyler’s split bowel and bleeding on the brain could not have been caused by the fall and the kick alone.
Mr Donnellan said: “There were other injuries, that came from other impacts. You heard Dr Cary say there would have been five or six impacts to cause the injuries to his head.
“On his front there were other injuries, caused by three or four impacts, minimum. There are others close to his groin. It is difficult to see how you could get those from one impact.
“The major internal impact does not match to any external marks. If we assume he fell off the breakfast bar – although there is no independent evidence for that – there is nothing consistent with the fall that explains the head injury.
“The distance fallen is unlikely to have caused the significant head injury that led to his death because it is such a short distance.”
The jury has heard Lee and Whelan say before rushing Tyler to hospital, the boy had got into bed with them for a cuddle.
Mr Donnellan added: “I don’t know what you make of the nonsense – and we say it is nonsense – of Tyler cuddling a man who bit his leg and launched him across the room with a kick. Can it really be true?”
The trial continues.
entertainment: Peterborough Arts Festival act Abi Collins with Yvonne Puplett, Greer Roberts, Kevin Tye, Helen Lax, Emman Evans, Cllr Matthew Lee, Lisa Helin and Anette Ward launching the festival and its website at the Key Theatre. Picture: PAUL FRANKS. THE FULL line-up and a website dedicated to the Peterborough Arts Festival have been launched.
The festival, which is organised by Vivacity and sponsored by Perkins Engines, will run from June 30 to July 8.
It will include music from Hard-fi in Central Park, a Victorian Circus Extravaganza in Cathedral Square and the star of the BBC’S The Magicians Pete Firman who will perform his new material for the Edinburgh Festival at the Key Theatre.
Lisa Helin, Vivacity’s cultural development manager, said: “This year’s line-up is the strongest ever, and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase such a range of artists in Peterborough.”
The full programme of acts is available in the 2012 Festival brochure, available from the Key Theatre or at the newly launched www. peterboroughfestival.co.uk.
Tickets for the shows are now on sale from the Key Theatre Box Office on 01 33 20 239.
‘bully’: Elvis Lee.