Jury are told to put any ‘re­vul­sion’ aside

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk@et­stephenb

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.

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