Murder trial admission

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THE man accused of murdering a five-year-old Wigan boy has admitted causing fatal injuries by kicking the youngster in the stomach moments after biting him in the leg.

Beech Hill-born Tyler Whelan died on March 7 last year after suffering a torn small bowel and a head injury.

A jury at Cambridge Crown Court was told the injury was caused when Elvis Lee became angry with Tyler after the boy had hidden behind a chair.

Previously the court had been told Lee sent text messages to Tyler’s mum Stephanie Whelan, saying the boy had gone missing and calling the youngster an idiot, while Whelan had been taking Tyler’s sister to school.

Lee, 34, of Crabtree, Paston, admits the manslaughter of Tyler, but denies murder and three counts of cruelty to a child. Stephanie Whelan, 27, who lived at Sheepwalk, Paston, at the time of the incident, denies causing or allowing the death of a child, and three counts of cruelty.

The jury heard a defence case statement outlining Lee’s version of events, which read: “Stephanie Whelan had gone out to take Tyler’s sister to school. Tyler was hiding, when, and the defendant (Lee) found found him hiding behind an armchair. He was angry, and bit Tyler on the calf. Tyler tried to get away, and the defendant lost his temper and kicked out once, which made contact with Tyler’s stomach.

“Elvis Lee accepts Tyler may have sustained injuries to his head and trunk which he was not aware of. At no point did he intend to cause serious harm or kill Tyler. He was extremely apologetic about the incident.”

In a further statement, Lee said Tyler may have suffered further injuries to his head and trunk as he fell as a result of the kick.

The statement was read while pathologist Dr Nat Cary gave evidence.

Asked if a single kick could explain the injury, he said: “Relative positions are important as to how the kick would be carried out. It is also important to know if the foot was shod or not.

“It is difficult to see how a single kick could cause the multiplicity of bruising.”

Dr Cary was asked if the torn bowel could have been explained by a single kick if Tyler was on all fours at the time. He said: “It is consistent as a possibility. It is easier to understand how the injury could have been caused with a bare foot if it was with the top of the foot.”