Cambridgeshire

Tyler Whelan death: Accused couple's stories 'inconsistent'

Elvis Lee and Stephanie Whelan
Image caption Elvis Lee and Stephanie Whelan initially claimed Tyler had fallen down the stairs

A couple gave "inconsistent" stories about events surrounding the death of a five-year-old boy, a jury has heard.

Tyler Whelan died in March 2011 after suffering "blunt-force trauma" to the head and abdomen, Cambridge Crown Court was told.

Elvis Lee, 34, denies murder. His partner, Tyler's mother, Stephanie Whelan, 27, denies causing or allowing his death.

Both are from the Paston area of the city.

The court heard evidence of Tyler's numerous other injuries at the time of his death, including 18 injuries to his face and neck, 17 to his body, 10 to his arms and hands, and 13 to his legs, including a human bite mark.

Mr Lee has admitted manslaughter and said that he kicked Tyler in the stomach on the morning he died, but said this was a one-off incident.

The jury was told statements from Mr Lee and Ms Whelan were "full of inconsistencies".

When en route to the hospital, they told a relative that Tyler had fallen down the stairs, but they later told police he had fallen from a stool in the kitchen.

They also claimed Tyler had eaten two bowls of cereal after the fall, but the court heard Tyler would have been unable to eat and no trace of cereal was found in his stomach.

The prosecution has said Tyler died as a result of a catalogue of injuries inflicted over several months.

Mr Lee and Ms Whelan both deny three further counts of cruelty, relating to their alleged failure to quickly seek medical treatment for earlier injuries.

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