Tyler was killed by ‘vi­o­lent bully’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­stephenb

(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.

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