Torture trial defendant: It wasn't me, I was scared for my life too
A DEFENDANT accused of being a '˜total and utter coward' for his part in the merciless torture and bullying of a vulnerable man with learning difficulties blamed a co-accused for the campaign of terror, a court heard.
Daniel Whelan told Portsmouth Crown Court that he and his partner Katy Whelan played no part in the routine beatings and mental abuse inflicted on the helpless victim – with Gavin Buckle totally to blame.
The trio, on trial for a number of brutal and degrading attacks on the man in October 2016, are alleged to have forced the victim to drink urine with pubic hairs in it, vinegar and washing up liquid.
Other disturbing deeds they are accused of committing included throwing chilli powder in the man’s eyes, making him strip naked and dance before posting a video of the humiliation on Facebook, and exploiting him for money.
The victim told the court he was treated like a ‘prisoner’ and made to carry out disturbing deeds at the Whelans’ Milton Road flat in Waterlooville after they had allowed him to stay there.
Under cross examination from prosecutor Stephen Parish, Whelan denied all responsibility claiming he was ‘petrified’ of Buckle turning on him.
‘I was scared for my life,’ Whelan insisted. ‘(Buckle) was hurting (the victim) and I thought he would hurt me.’
Mr Parish fired back: ‘You were just being a complete and utter coward.’
‘No,’ replied Whelan. ‘I have autism and learning difficulties and was scared of Gav beating me.’
‘You’re so kind that you stand by and let your friend get beaten? You’re a total hypocrite,’ Mr Parish said.
Whelan responded: ‘That’s your opinion.’
Questioning Whelan over his alleged involvement in forcing the victim to drink the concoction of disgusting substances, Mr Parish accused the defendant of finding it ‘funny’.
‘No, it was a scary situation to be in,’ Whelan hit back.
Mr Parish then accused Whelan of ‘getting caught out’ after the defendant had said ‘everyone’ was behind making up the repulsive drink.
‘No I meant Gav (was behind making the drink). I get my words muddled up,’ Whelan said.
‘How did the urine and pubic hairs get into the cup?’ asked Mr Parish.
‘I was told by Gav that he put them in there,’ Whelan said.
‘I suggest it wasn’t just Gav. It was you as well as Katy,’ Mr Parish said.
‘No, not guilty,’ Whelan said.
The prosecutor then accused Whelan of being part of the gang that rounded on the victim and smashing him in his bad eye before Katy weighed in with a ‘pounding’ of her own.
‘Why would I do that when I had a baby on the way,’ Whelan replied.
Mr Parish added: ‘You bullied and tortured him and made him drink a revolting liquid and blackmailed him to give you money.’
Group member Nigel Ives, 28, of Chaucer Close, Waterlooville, was also involved in the punishing beatings and torture and pleaded guilty to assault, threatening to kill and harassment at an earlier hearing.
Buckle, 30, of Chandlers Close, Isle of Wight and Daniel Whelan, 25, deny administering poison and causing fear of violence. Buckle, who has admitted assault, also denies making a threat to kill. Daniel Whelan denies assault.
Katy Whelan, 22, denies causing the victim to fear violence.