THE man accused of murdering a Wigan five-year-old is “a violent bully and a coward”, a jury has been told.
Elvis Lee denies murdering Tyler Whelan, from Beech Hill, but admits manslaughter after kicking the child in the stomach. The boy’s mother, 27-year-old Stephanie Whelan denies causing or allowing the death. Both deny two counts of child cruelty.
During his closing speech at Cambridge Crown Court, prosecutor Christopher Donnellan QC said: “The case is that Elvis Lee is a violent bully and a coward. Stephanie Whelan knew that. He kicked her in the face. Stephanie also told police he had control over her.
“She failed in two ways. At the very best she left Tyler in the care of Elvis Lee, a man prone to violent outbursts. She also caused his death by a wilful omission to act and call an ambulance.”
Mr Donnellan also said Lee, 34, of Paston, Peterborough, had memorised a story about what happened on the morning of March 7, 2011, when Tyler died.
He said: “There are only two people who really know what happened on that morning. Both defendants have sought to minimise their responsibility for failing to protect Tyler. You can be sure Elvis Lee is guilty of much more than unlawfully killing Tyler.”
Mr Donnellan told the jury they had to consider what Lee’s state of mind was when he bit and kicked Tyler. He said: “He chose where he was going to bite Tyler but a moment later he says he didn’t know he was going to kick Tyler. We say at the time he knew exactly what he was doing and carried out the intention.
“To kick at a moving object you have to place your kick, otherwise you kick air. You have to balance yourself. To cause the injury suffered by Tyler the kick has to be done with significant force.”
During the trial the jury heard Whelan and Lee say they found Tyler face down on the floor on March 7, after falling from a breakfast bar. Mr Donnellan said the evidence suggested Tyler’s split bowel and bleeding on the brain could not have been caused by the fall and the kick alone.
Mr Donnellan said: “There were other injuries. You heard Dr Cary say there would have been five or six impacts to cause the injuries to his head.
“On his front there were other injuries, caused by three or four impacts, minimum. There are others close to his groin. It is difficult to see how you could get those from one impact.”