Dad And Stepmum Sentenced For Death Of 6-Year-Old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
The father and stepmother of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes have been handed their sentences today, December 3.
Thomas Hughes, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter, while partner Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted of murder following the death of six-year-old Arthur.
Following sentencing at Coventry Crown Court today, Tustin was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 29 years, while Hughes is facing 21 years behind bars.
Tustin murdered the child at her Solihull home on June 16, 2020, shaking him and banging his head in such a way that he was left with an ‘unsurvivable head injury’. She then photographed him lying on the floor, sending the picture to Hughes.
After 12 minutes had passed, Tustin called 999 after first ringing Hughes, later lying to authorities that Arthur ‘fell and banged his head’.
It was found that Hughes had encouraged the killing of his son, with a text message sent to Tustin some 18 hours before reading ‘just end him’.
At the beginning of the sentencing hearing, Arthur’s paternal grandmother Joanne Hughes read out a victim impact statement, in which she said her grandson would ‘be alive today’ had Hughes not met Tustin.
It is also clear that Arthur was failed by the very authorities that we, as a society, are led to believe are there to ensure the safety of everyone.
Social workers and police officers reportedly missed four opportunities to save Arthur, as per the MailOnline, brushing aside desperate pleas from family members, who were even threatened with arrest under lockdown rules.
Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, also gave a victim impact statement on behalf of his biological mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, who is currently in jail for the manslaughter of her partner Gary Cunningham in February 2019.
The statement described Arthur as having been ‘the light of my life’, recalling his ‘beautiful smile’ and ‘kind, nurturing spirit’:
He was let down by a person he trusted and should have protected him, left alone and isolated, and then they took him away from me. My child, my little love, defenceless, trusting and nothing but loving, was killed.
His short life stolen and the hole left in me and those who loved Arthur will never be repaired. Sleep well, my angel – you are truly loved.
During the eight-week trial, the court heard how Arthur had been physically assaulted, poisoned with salt and forced to stand for as long as 14 hours a day in the weeks prior to his death. After he was taken to hospital, 130 injuries were discovered on his body.
Going forward, an investigation has now been launched into local social services, which failed to detect abuse that started after Arthur moved in with Hughes and Tustin last year.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111
Most Read StoriesMost Read