Tyler pair ‘stories conflicted’

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THE couple on trial over the death of a five-year-old Wigan boy gave conflicting stories about his final hours, a jury heard.

Tyler Whelan died after suffering head and body injuries at the Peterborough home of Elvis Lee, partner of the victim’s mother Stephanie in March 2011.

Lee, 34, admits manslaughter but denies murder while 27-year-old Stephanie Whelan, originally from Beech Hill, denies causing or allowing her son’s death.

Her stepfather Simon Whelan told Cambridge Crown Court that after arriving at Peterborough City Hospital to comfort the pair after Tyler’s death, he noticed their explanations about what had happened differed.

Mr Whelan said: “Stephanie was an emotional wreck, she was crying and rocking up and down in a chair. I went in and cuddled her and consoled her, she sat on my knee and Elvis was in the room too.

“I was asking them what happened to Tyler because these sort of things do not just happen. One of them started telling me this story but the next minute they started saying something else.

“One of the stories was that Tyler had got up in the morning and gone downstairs and reached up into a cupboard to get something out of it. Then they told the story again but it was always different.

“In the first incident Tyler was supposed to have fallen down the stairs, in the next he fell off a chair. All the time the story was being told it seemed like Elvis was coercing Stephanie into saying stuff that she didn’t believe was true.”

Mr Whelan said Lee had told him Tyler had suffered a cut nose as a result of the incident and that he and Stephanie Whelan had decided to take him to hospital in their car.

Lee and Stephanie Whelan also claimed Tyler had eaten two bowls of cereal after the fall, but pathologist Dr Jennifer Miller told the court there was no trace of cereal in his stomach.

Mr Whelan added: “Elvis said he had walked Tyler to the car but that Stephanie had to carry him the last few inches after he started feeling a bit iffy. They said Tyler was in the back of the car with Stephanie and that he stopped breathing in the car so they gave him mouth to mouth.

“I remember Elvis saying that he was driving so fast he hit a kerb and got a blow-out on the car’s wheel, he ended up driving to the hospital with a flat tyre.”