Stepdad Jailed Over Boy's Death

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 on Monday of murdering Tyler Whelan, five, in Peterborough. 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 and hit a door at his home in Paston. This ruptured his abdomen and started to slowly kill him.

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

He said: ``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.

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

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.'