GROTESQUE

Judge tells Tyler’s ‘grotesquely’ vi­o­lent killer: ‘I en­ter­tain a lin­ger­ing sus­pi­cion that you in­flicted more blows than you have ad­mit­ted and that may be why Tyler ap­pears to have said noth­ing to his mother’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­stephenb

TRAGEDY: Tyler Whe­lan, far right, and his mother Stephanie who was con­victed of al­low­ing the young­ster’s death.

A JUDGE has said he has sus­pi­cions child killer Elvis Lee in­flicted more blows on tragic Tyler Whe­lan dur­ing his vi­cious as­sault.

Mr Jus­tice Nicol, who handed Lee a life sen­tence at Cam­bridge Crown Court yes­ter­day, also de­scribed Lee’s ac­tions as “a gross breach of trust” and “grotesquely in­ap­pro­pri­ate” dur­ing the hear­ing.

Lee was told he would serve a min­i­mum of 17-and-a-half years in prison and be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role in 16 years 119 days as he has served 429 days on re­mand since his ar­rest.

Lee (34), of Crab­tree, Pas­ton, Peter­bor­ough wore a dark grey jumper, jeans and black ear stud for the hear­ing and sat through much of the sen­tenc­ing, show­ing no emo­tion as the judge out­lined the facts of the case.

He was con­victed by a jury on Mon­day of mur­der­ing five-year-old Tyler on March 7, 2011 af­ter bit­ing his leg and kick­ing him in the stom­ach.

The kick re­quired such a se­vere force, his small bowel was crushed against his spine, caus­ing it to split. Tyler also suf­fered a brain in­jury on the morn­ing he died.

Mr Jus­tice Nicol said: “Tyler was found to have a num­ber of other re­cent bruises and abra­sions on his head, face and body. You have ad­mit­ted no other as­saults and it is not at all clear how he came by them.

“I en­ter­tain a lin­ger­ing sus­pi­cion that you in­flicted more blows than you have ad­mit­ted and that may be why Tyler ap­pears to have said noth­ing to his mother when she re­turned from tak­ing the other chil­dren to school, de­spite hav­ing suf­fered such se­ri­ous in­ter­nal dam­age.”

The court heard on Mon­day how Lee had been con­victed of 56 other of­fences, in­clud­ing vi­o­lent crimes in 1999, 2003 and 2010.

Mr Jus­tice Nicol said as­pects of the case con­cerned him.

He said: “In your case, the ag­gra­vat­ing fea­tures are that Tyler was so young. He was par­tic­u­larly vul- ner­a­ble be­cause of his age, be­cause he was only half your height and a quar­ter of your weight.

“He was also in your care. But in­stead of caring for him, you griev­ously in­jured him. That was a gross breach of the trust which he should have been en­ti­tled to place in you.

“Fur­ther, you have ad­mit­ted bit­ing Tyler on the leg be­fore you kicked him. That bite didn’t break the skin but as you ad­mit­ted, it was far more than a play­ful bite. It left marks of in­di­vid­ual teeth. You said that it was to teach Tyler a les­son not to bite other chil­dren, but it was a grotesquely in­ap­pro­pri­ate way for an adult to be­have to­wards a child.”

The judge also said the fact Lee was bare­foot at the time of the kick was partly an ag­gra­vat­ing fea­ture.

He said: “I have ac­cepted it was not your in­ten­tion to kill Tyler. Nor was this a pre­med­i­tated as­sault – it was the prod­uct of an out­burst of a spon­ta­neous loss of tem­per.

“You had no shoes on at the time you kicked Tyler. But that fact cuts both ways.

“It means your as­sault did not make use of a weapon, which a shod foot surely is, but on the other hand, a bare foot would re­quire greater force to bring about the level of in­jury which you caused.”

Af­ter the ver­dict Tyler’s fa­ther, Shaun Har­ri­son, spoke of his “un­bear­able” loss and Mr Jus­tice Nicol paid trib­ute to Tyler and the way his fam­ily have acted dur­ing the case.

He said: “His life was cut abruptly short, It has been a tragedy for his fa­ther, for his mother, and for the rest of his fam­ily.

“His fa­ther has spo­ken elo­quently of the grief which he has had to bear. It is a tragedy which you have brought about.”

Tyler’s mother, Stephanie Whe­lan was con­victed of al­low­ing the death of a child on Mon­day. She will be sen­tenced in June.

Both Whe­lan and Lee were cleared of cru­elty to a child.

LIFE SEN­TENCE: Elvis Lee (left) who mur­dered Tyler Whe­lan.

TRAGIC: Tyler Whe­lan (5) above, died af­ter be­ing kicked and his mother Stephanie Whe­lan, above right

JAILED: Elvis Lee who kicked Tyler

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