Tyler’s killer gets 17 years

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A “wicked and controlling” man who murdered his “fun-loving, mischievous” stepson has been ordered to serve at least 17 years in prison.

Elvis Lee, 34, was found guilty yesterday of murdering Tyler Whelan, five.

Lee admitted he kicked and bit Tyler on the day of his death but denied murder.

The kick was so hard that Tyler flew two feet through the air hitting a door at his home in Sheepwalk, Paston, near Peterborough, rupturing his abdomen and slowly killing him.

At Cambridge Crown Court today, Mr Justice Nicol sentenced him to life with a minimum tariff of 17 years.

The boy’s mother, Stephanie Whelan, 27, was found guilty of allowing the boy’s death. She will be sentenced next month.

A report published after the conviction found that key opportunities to protect Tyler were missed by authorities tasked with his care.

It acknowledged that previous incidents in which the boy was hurt had been “seen in isolation” with “minimal attempts to link concerning patterns of injuries”.

Michael Borrelli QC, mitigating, said Lee’s attack on Tyler on March 7 last year was not pre-meditated and was instead a loss of temper and “act of spite”.

He said: “My client was himself the victim of considerable violence as a child.”