Wheatley was educated at University College, Oxford, going up to Oxford in 1944. He became a barrister and was involved with the case of Isabel Earl, who was tried at the Old Bailey for murder. As a barrister, he handled both criminal and commercial cases. Subsequently, he was a Recorder (judge) of the Crown Court and a Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household (1959–64).
Later, he joined Lloyds Bank as its Chief Legal Advisor. Wheatley has written many articles for newspapers and legal journals. He has also written a novel, The Silent Lady (Mona Lisa), based on his experiences as a barrister, especially the Isabel Earl case.
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