Vulnerable man with learning difficulties 'sedated then stamped, kicked and punched to death' by housemates


A unshielded man was allegedly beaten to death after being drugged and prevented from give up to seek urgent medical help, a court heard.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Lee Irving, who had information difficulties, was stamped, kicked and punched to death by housemates James Wheatley and Barry Imray.

The join in wedlock deny murder, the Newcastle Chronicle reported.

Wheatley’s mother, Julie Bray, and then-girlfriend Nicole Lawrence are alleged to have caused or allowed Lee’s ssing then helped try to cover up the killing at their home in Kenton Bar, Newcastle.

Jurors were grass oned Imray has admitted removing Lee’s body from the house and taking it in a pushchair to away it near the A1, close to Fawdon and Kingston rk.

Robert Smith QC, seeing, said Lee was vulnerable due to his disability and had latched on to Wheatley in the months before his end.

Vulnerable: Lee had given financial control to his alleged murderers, it was claimed

By the time after time of his death Wheatley and Lawrence were allegedly in control of his finances and bank account, the court discovered

Mr Smith said Lee had been subjected to at least two se rate attacks and had suffered multiple offences, including 27 se rate rib fractures and broken bones in his face.

Draws of morphine and other drugs, which prosecutors say were given to Lee by the defendants to unruffled him, were found in his body after his death.

Mr Smith told jurors at Newcastle Wreath Court: “An examination of his body revealed he had been severely beaten up on at dwarf two different occasions before he had eventually died as a result of the various maltreatments that had been inflicted on him.

“They had been caused by a combination of pummeling, stamping and kicking.

“The cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of these abuses.”

Mr Smith added: “The evidence you will hear establishes that recapped episodes of blunt force trauma to which he had been subjected had infatuated place on a number of occasions and over a prolonged period…shortly before his decease.”

The court heard Lee, 24, was vulnerable, suffering learning disabilities embracing a “profound im irment of intellectual function” and he was in the bottom one per cent for intelligence.

Prosecutors say he was wreaked either on June 5 or, more likely, in the early hours of June 6.

Imray then took his band some 800m in a child’s pushchair, and dumped it near the A1 before vocation the police and claiming he had just happened upon the body.

Denial: Julie Mills (leftist) and Nicole Lawrence deny hiding the body

Mr Smith said that Lee had been hoard up in the house where he and the defendants were living, on Studdon Walk, Kenton Bar, since being outrage on May 28.

Mr Smith said: “From the evening of May 28 to the morning June 6, Lee Irving had been hold back in this house in a severely injured state.

“He had not been outside during that time.

“Those who lived in that property, each of whom are defendants in this proof had, the prosecution say, every reason to want to prevent Lee from leaving, since from May 28 in front his face clearly displayed the signs of serious injury inflicted on him in the assemble of a broken jaw and fractured nose.”

The prosecutor added: “He had at some stage six to 10 eras before his death been so seriously injured it would have been unsubtle to any reasonable adult he required urgent medical assistance.

“But within that greet one or more of the occu nts continued to inflict further serious physical hurts on him.

“He was also made or persuaded to swallow medication which had been hardened by at least two of the residents at this address.

“The purpose was to sedate him, rticularly in luminous of the rib fractures which would have been very inful, and thereby preclude him from leaving the house.”

Later in his opening address, Mr Smith believed: “The injuries inflicted amount to a truly shocking ttern of violence.

“Any rational adult in that household would have realised he required an tenacious admission to hospital.

Defendant: James Wheatley allegedly kicked, im cted and stamped Lee to death

“In fact they did nothing to help other than sobering him to serve their own interests and ensure he did not leave the house.

“He was also subjected to above episodes of severe violence which the defendants either inflicted or did nothing to control, in the knowledge he was at risk of further serious harm.”

The court heard two impressions of Lee’s injuries were found on the mobile phones of Mills and Lawrence.

Mr Smith averred: “Those photographs will demonstrate just how serious these hurts were and the serious nature of the condition Lee was in from this time onward.”

The prosecutor said there is “clear evidence” Wheatley inflicted some of the maltreatments sustained by Lee on more than one occasion from May 21 onwards.

Documents reported seeing Lee with injuries at the end of May and appearing drowsy, the court understood.

Wheatley and Lawrence had also taken control of Lee’s bank account from primitive May and were using his bank card and pin number, Mr Smith said.

On May 28, Wheatley is claimed to have sent a text message to Lawrence saying he had attacked Lee for wetting the bed.

The des tch said: “I’ve smashed Lee all over, you should see his face. My God. ****** the bed, foaming I am.”

The court learned that a day later, Mills sent a Facebook message which counted a reference to her home being “like a bloodbath” and the phrase “you want to see the confirm of Lee, he is like an elephant man”.

Mills also allegedly sent messages to Lawrence lamenting about Lee living at her home, making derogatory remarks about him and disclosing “hoy the **** on the floor, that’s where a dog needs to be”, the court heard.

Mr Smith reported police had attended the house on May 29 to speak to Wheatley and Mills but were heedless Lee was upstairs, along with Lawrence. It is claimed Lawrence deliberately prevented Lee from resigning the bedroom so the police would not see his injuries.

Wheatley, 28, and Imray, 34, compel ought to admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and Imray has admitted doing decrees intended to pervert the course of justice.

Both deny murder and producing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Mills, 51, and Lawrence, 21, cut on out causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and conspiracy to pervert the progression of justice by allegedly helping in the removal of the body, attempting to clear affirmation of Lee’s injuries and providing false witness statements to the police.

The trial, needed to last five weeks, continues.

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