Jury are told to put any ‘revulsion’ aside
THE jury in the trial into the death of Tyler Whelan has been asked to put aside feelings of “disgust and revulsion” when considering its verdict.
In his closing speech, Michael Borrelli QC, defending Elvis Lee, who is charged with murdering the five-year-old boy, said although the case was a shocking one the jury had to consider the evidence in a “fair, objective and disciplined way”.
Tyler died on March 7, 2011 after suffering head and abdominal injuries, said to be caused when he fell from the breakfast bar in the kitchen and when he was kicked by Lee.
Lee (34), of Crabtree, Paston, has pleaded guilty to Tyler’s manslaughter but denies murder and two counts of cruelty to a child.
Tyler’s mum, Stephanie Whelan (27), who lived at Sheepwalk, Paston, at the time of the incident, de- nies causing or allowing the death of a child and two counts of cruelty to a child.
Mr Borrelli said: “You have been brought here to deal with the most terrible tragedy one can imagine. Tyler’s loss and the hurt caused to his family must be unimaginable and they must feel a mixture of sorrow and anger in equal measure. All of this was caused by the unlawful act from Mr Lee.
“But it is your duty to be fair, objective and disciplined. Any feelings of disgust or revulsion in your assessment of the facts in this case, mixed with a degree of sadness towards Tyler and sympathy for his family, you have to ignore.”
He said it was down to the prosecution to prove Lee had intended to cause serious harm to Tyler and the medical evidence had not proven how the boy would have reacted following the kick.
He said: “He regrets his actions but it does not mean he intended to cause grievous bodily harm when he did kick that little boy. Mr Lee says he was was completely unaware of the serious consequences of his actions.
“You heard Dr Kenny say no-one knows for sure how Tyler would have reacted after receiving the injury. Everything points to something less than a deliberate attempt to lay into Tyler and beat him up.”
Mr Borrelli also said the suggestion Lee had created a story at hospital following the youngster’s death was untrue.
Michael Burrows, defending Whelan, told the jury that the prosecution case had changed in the trial.
He said: “You were told Stephanie Whelan’s account could not be true as it didn’t explain the injuries. Isn’t it obvious why she didn’t explain the injuries? She didn’t know all that happened to Tyler. She didn’t know Elvis Lee had kicked him.
“Lee kept it from her and led her to believe nothing like it had happened.”
The court has heard Tyler received medical attention in June 2010 for a broken leg and in October 2010 for an injured groin. It is alleged Lee and Whelan did not act quickly enough to get him medical help.
Speaking about the leg injury, Mr Burrows said: “Because of the delay a decision was made to give Tyler a full skeletal survey. There was nothing like a hint of any suspicious injury. Social services had a meeting and the result of that was everything was fine, and Tyler could go home with Stephanie and Elvis.”
The court had also heard how Lee kicked Whelan in January 2011 and the prosecution claimed this meant Whelan knew Lee was violent. But Mr Burrows said: “The fact Elvis Lee assaulted Stephanie doesn’t show a risk of violence towards children.”
He said Whelan “blamed herself ” for what happened.
The trial continues.
THE Medieval font at Peterborough Cathedral is made from a carved 13th century marble bowl supported by five pillars..
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON
trial: Tyler Whelan.