COWARDLY bullies who subjected a vulnerable man with learning disabilities to horrific mental and physical torture including poisoning him with urine and bleach have been found guilty by jurors.
Daniel Whelan, his partner Katy Whelan and Gavin Buckle were found guilty by unanimous verdict at Portsmouth Crown Court today after inflicting their helpless victim to gruelling and humiliating ordeals in October 2016.
The gang of bullies had largely denied their part in the sustained torture and punishing beatings routinely dished out on the man, who was treated like a ‘prisoner’ at the Whelans’ Milton Road flat in Waterlooville.
Daniel and Katy Whelan had tried to blame Buckle and Nigel Ives for the disturbing sequence of vile acts but their attempts to deceive the court fell on deaf ears as jurors found them to be liars. The trio will be sentenced on April 27.
‘They made the victim drink a cup of Dan’s urine with pubic hairs and washing-up liquid in it,’ prosecutor Stephen Parish had told the court.
‘He then vomited on the carpet and they told him to pay for a new one. He was also made to drink vinegar, two cups of urine and washing up liquid another time.’
The man was routinely ganged up on by the defendants and dealt beatings, made to sleep on the floor and strip naked and dance before having his picture taken and a video posted on Facebook.
He and his family received death threats while a knife was also brandished on one occasion. They also exploited him for money.
The group ganged up on the victim after saying he was obsessed with Katy Whelan. ‘By saying he was obsessed with Katy it provided an excuse for Daniel Whelan to punch him so hard his lip split,’ Mr Parish said.
‘Another time they all gathered round before Gavin hit him in the cheek and then kneed him to the face. Katy then gave him a pounding when kicking and punching him.’
The man’s overwhelming sense of shame forced him to apologise after he was made to feel like he was in the wrong for the torrent of misdemeanours thrown at him.
Things came to a head when the victim was sent to the shops to get crisps but got punched by Buckle after getting the wrong flavour.
Shop workers at the Co-op where the victim had bought the item noticed he had a black eye before asking what had happened. But even after telling them, he still felt compelled to cover up for the gang because he was too scared and did not want to get them into trouble.
Ives, 28, of Chaucer Close, Waterlooville, who pleaded guilty to assault threatening to kill and harassment at an earlier hearing, played his part after carrying out vicious beatings and brutal threats.
‘(Ives) said he wanted to put him in a body bag. He then tried to put him in an oven and said he would burn him alive,’ Mr Parish said.
Buckle, 30, of Chandlers Close, Isle of Wight and Daniel Whelan, 25, were found guilty of administering poison and causing fear of violence. Buckle, who previously admitted assault, was also found guilty of making a threat to kill. Daniel Whelan was found guilty of assault.
Katy Whelan, 22, was found guilty of causing the victim to fear violence.