Accused mum breaks down in court

Stephanie Whelan and (below) Elvis Lee
Stephanie Whelan and (below) Elvis Lee

A WIGAN mum accused of causing the death of her five-year-old son broke down in tears as the court heard the 999 call she made on the morning he died.

Cambridge Crown Court adjourned for a 10-minute break following the emotional outburst from Stephanie Whelan, 27, and people sitting in the public gallery during the trial into Tyler Whelan’s death.

Whelan, who lived in Peterborough at the time of the incident, but comes from, and now lives back in Beech Hill, denies causing or allowing the death of a child and three counts of cruelty to a child.

Her former boyfriend Elvis Lee, 34, of Paston, Peterborough, but formerly from Wigan, admits the manslaughter of Tyler but has pleaded not guilty to murder and three counts of cruelty to a child.

The court was played the 999 call made by Whelan at 10.57am on March 7 last year as Lee drove the three of them to Peterborough City Hospital.

It was difficult to understand what was being said during the call, which lasted about two minutes, but Lee could be heard saying “he’s had a fit” and “he’s stopped breathing”.

Whelan is also heard to say “I told you”.

After the recording was played, the court was cleared for 10 minutes to allow people to calm down.

The jury also heard how Tyler had nearly 60 injuries on his body when he died at Peterborough City Hospital on March 7, 2011.

Along with the bruises and marks to his body, pathologists carrying out the post-mortem found he also suffered bleeding to his brain.

They also found a bite mark to his leg, which Christopher Donnellan QC, prosecuting, said they believed had been made by Lee.

Earlier the jury had heard how the Lee and Whelan had said Tyler had suffered a head injury when he fell from a stool in the kitchen.

They were also told Lee had admitted kicking Tyler on the morning of March 7.

Mr Donnellan said: “The post-mortem took place on March 10 and was carried out by Dr Nat Carey.

“The cause of death was given as blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. He said the severe injuries would have been caused within hours of Tyler dying.

“Given the explanation about falling from the stool, the conclusion was the number of injuries could not be explained by one incident.”

The jury were shown a body map of the injuries noted during the post-mortem.

They included 18 different marks on Tyler’s head, face and neck, 17 on his chest and back, 10 on his arms and hands and 13 to his legs.

Mr Donnellan said: “The report said the injuries to the abdomen could have been caused by a blow of severe force, such as a punch or a kick. We now know a kick is admitted.

“There was no explanation for the bite mark.

“All the people who had regular contact with Tyler were asked to give teethmarks. Elvis Lee was the only one who refused.

“It was a hard bite. It would have been painful. Very painful.”

The trial continues.