Stepfather jailed for murder of five-year-old boy/Tyler Whelan's mother, Stephanie, who was found guilty of allowing his death and will be sentenced next month/Elvis Lee, 34, was found guilty of murdering five-year-old Tyler Whelan.

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Normal Stepfather jailed for murder of five-year-old boy/Tyler Whelan's mother, Stephanie, who was found guilty of allowing his death and will be sentenced next month/Elvis Lee, 34, was found guilty of murdering five-year-old Tyler Whelan.

Post by mary.cole.144 on Tue May 15, 2012 12:16 pm

Press Association
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 15 May 2012 08.12 EDT



Tyler Whelan's mother, Stephanie, who was found guilty of allowing his death and will be sentenced next month. Photograph: Cambridgeshire police/PA


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 of murdering five-year-old Tyler Whelan.

Lee admitted he kicked and bit Tyler on the day of his death but denied murder. The kick was so hard that Tyler flew half a metre through the air, hitting a door at his home in Paston, near Peterborough, rupturing his abdomen and slowly killing him.

At Cambridge crown court on Tuesday, Mr Justice Nicol sentenced Lee to life with a minimum tariff of 17 and a half years.

He said: "Tyler had been left in your care while his mother took two other children to school.

"His young life was cut tragically short. This has been a tragedy for his father, his mother and the rest of the family.

"Tyler was particularly vulnerable because of his age. He was only half your height and a quarter of your weight.

"I entertain the lingering suspicion you inflicted more blows than you have admitted and that may have been the reason Tyler said nothing to his mother when she returned."

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 7 March 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.

"He lacked a real appreciation as to the consequences of what he did because, despite the treatment he himself had been the victim of, he had never suffered serious injury."

The trial heard evidence that Tyler suffered a number of "non-accidental" injuries in the year before his death.

But Borrelli said his client had been cleared of cruelty and neglect allegations and should be sentenced on the basis that this was an isolated attack.

Whelan, of Paston, but originally from Wigan, and Lee, of Paston, were each cleared of two counts of cruelty or neglect relating to their failure to seek prompt medical attention on previous occasions.

A serious case review, compiled by the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board and published after the verdict at Cambridge crown court, acknowledged failings by the organisations responsible for his care, including Peterborough children's services.

The report concluded it was impossible to say that, had there been greater intervention, the tragedy would have been prevented. But the report said: "Whilst it would be very challenging to state with any conviction that the subject's [Tyler's] death was either predictable or preventable, there were certainly numerous missed opportunities when interventions should have been more rigorous and incisive on clear occasions when there were concerns about his safety at home.

"Additionally, there were some occasions when initiatives were not taken to assess the levels of risk to the subject when there was a procedural requirement to have done so.

"Even if any of the missed assessment opportunities had in fact been taken and completed in line with procedures, it could still not be said with any certainty that they would have made a difference to the eventual tragic outcome."

Superintendent Simon Megicks, from Cambridgeshire police, said: "This was a wicked crime in which an innocent five-year-old was murdered by a person who should have been looking after him.

"Lee is a controlling and violent man who lost his temper and inflicted fatal injuries to Tyler.

"Whelan has been found to have allowed his death following these fatal injuries – Tyler deserved more from his mother.

"Every child has the right to be protected and feel safe in their own home and it is a parent's responsibility to ensure this is the case."

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Normal 'Wicked' Stepfather Jailed For Boy's Murder/ Tyler Whelan

Post by mary.cole.144 on Tue May 15, 2012 3:12 pm




A "wicked" man who murdered his five-year-old stepson has received a life sentence.

Elvis Lee was found guilty of murdering Tyler Whelan and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years in jail by Cambridge Crown Court.
The 34-year-old denied murder but admitted he kicked Tyler on the day of his death at his home in Paston, near Peterborough.
The child was kicked so hard he flew two feet through the air, hit a door and ruptured his abdomen, which slowly killed him.




The judge, Mr Justice Nicol, described Tyler as "particularly vulnerable".
"His young life was cut tragically short. This has been a tragedy for his father, his mother and the rest of the family.
"Tyler was particularly vulnerable because of his age. He was only half your height and a quarter of your weight," Mr Justice Nicol said to Lee.
The boy's mother, 27-year-old Stephanie Whelan, was found guilty of allowing the boy's death and will be sentenced next month.
A serious case review by the Peterborough Safeguarding Children Board, published after the verdict, found that opportunities to protect Tyler had been missed.
The report acknowledged failings by the organisations responsible for his care, including Peterborough Children's Services.

But it concluded that it was impossible to say that, if there had been greater intervention, the tragedy would have been prevented.
The trial heard how Tyler had suffered a number of "non-accidental" injuries in the year before his death.
Michael Borrelli QC, who defended Lee, said the attack on March 7 last year was not pre-meditated, but was due to a loss of temper and "act of spite".
He said: "My client was himself the victim of considerable violence as a child.

"He lacked a real appreciation as to the consequences of what he did because, despite the treatment he himself had been the victim of, he had never suffered serious injury."
Superintendent Simon Megicks, from Cambridgeshire Police, described Lee as a "controlling" man.
He said: "This was a wicked crime in which an innocent five-year-old was murdered by a person who should have been looking after him."



The child's father, Shaun Harrison, said he held Lee and Whelan entirely responsible for Tyler's death.
"The last year of my life has been unbearable. Tyler was a fun-loving, mischievous little boy with a big heart and amazing smile.
"I feel lost without him in my life and I still can't believe he's gone," he said.

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