Police say justice has been done
DETECTIVES described Elvis Lee as a “controlling and violent man” after he was found guilty of murdering Tyler Whelan.
Superintendent Simon Megicks, from Cambridgeshire police, said it was “wicked” that Tyler had been killed by someone who should have been caring for him.
He said: “This was a wicked crime in which an innocent five-year-old was murdered by a person who should have been looking after him.
“Lee is a controlling and violent man who lost his temper and inflicted fatal injuries to Tyler. Whelan has been found to have allowed his death following these fatal injuries – Tyler deserved more from his mother.
“Every child has the right to be protected and feel safe in their own home and it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure this is the case.”
During the trial the jury were told that after his arrest, Lee told police he had not assaulted Tyler in any way. He only admitted biting and kicking him shortly before the start of the trial when he was presented with the medical evidence.
It also heard how Lee made no comment during police interviews other than handing them a prepared statement.
On the day of Tyler’s death he also took police into the house and gave detectives an explanation of how Tyler had fallen from the kitchen work surface.
Lee also told the jury that he had not told Whelan he had assaulted her son until he gave his admissions to the court.
Superintendent Megicks said he was pleased that justice had been done and hoped the verdicts would be able to bring “peace” to Tyler’s family. He also paid tribute to everyone who had worked on the case. THE FATHER of murdered five-year-old Tyler Whelan has spoken of his “unbearable” loss following the death of his “fun-loving” son who had an “amazing smile”.
Shaun Harrison, from Wigan, gave the statement outside Cambridge Crown Court yesterday after Elvis Lee (34), of Crabtree, Paston, Peterborough, was convicted of Tyler’s murder by a jury.
Tyler’s mum, Stephanie Whelan (27), who lived at Sheepwalk, Paston, Peterborough at the time of his death on March 7 last year, was found guilty of allowing the death of a child.
During the trial, the court had heard how Tyler had visited Mr Harrison in Wigan in the two days before he died, spending time at the fair with his dad. Following the verdict he spoke of his memories of the lively, smiling boy.
Mr Harrison said: “The last year of my life has been unbearable. Tyler was a fun-loving, mischievous little boy with a big heart and amazing smile.
“I feel lost without him in my life and I still can’t believe he’s gone.
“It hurts me that I will never get the chance to see him grow up and see the man he should have become.”
Mr Harrison, who has been in court every day since the trial began over three weeks ago, cheered as the jury delivered its verdicts but said he did not blame either Lee or Whelan’s families for what happened and asked for time to grieve.
He said: “I have no malice towards his or her families. Whelan and Lee are responsible for Tyler’s death, not their families.
“The trial is over and the jury has reached its verdict. I’d like to leave Tyler to rest in peace and for me and my family to be left to grieve.
“I’d like to thank all those involved in the case and the support that they have given to me and my family.”
Tyler died on March 7 last year after he was kicked at Lee’s house in Crabtree.
During the trial, the court had heard how Lee and Whelan had said Tyler had fallen from a kitchen work surface early in the morning, after trying to reach chocolate in one of the cupboards.
Both defendants said he suffered a bleeding nose but other than a red mark to his belly, they did not see any other injuries.
While Whelan was out of the house taking Tyler’s sister to school and booking a doctor’s appointment for her son, Lee lost his temper with Tyler. He bit him on the leg, before kicking him two feet across the living room because the five-year-old had been hiding from him.
Lee, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder, said following the kick Tyler had crashed into a door frame.
Whelan and Lee both said that Tyler had eaten breakfast cereal – although medical evidence showed there was no sign of any food in his digestive system.
They told the court Tyler had gotten into bed with the couple later in the morning and while he was in bed, Whelan spotted marks on Tyler’s belly which she thought was internal bleeding.
The couple put the boy in the car to take him to hospital but he collapsed while on the way. Whelan made a 999 call to the emergency services in a panic and both Lee and Whelan tried to resuscitate him.
Despite desperate efforts to save Tyler’s life by surgeons lasting for 25 minutes, Tyler was declared dead at Peterborough City Hospital at 11.25am, just over two hours after Lee said the assault took place.
Post-mortem results revealed Tyler had died after he suffered a split small bowel and bleeding on the brain caused by “blunt force trauma”.
The court was also told Tyler had a catalogue of other bruises, which medical experts said would have been caused by a number of impacts.
Both Lee and Whelan were found not guilty of two counts of cruelty to a child.
Lee will be sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court tomorrow, while Whelan will be sentenced in June after pre-sentence reports are prepared.