Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: A life cut short by cruelty
The six-year-old was beaten, starved and isolated by his father and stepmother before he was killed.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died after being left alone with Emma Tustin last yearTuesday 16 June 2020 started the same as any other for six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: in misery and in pain.Barely able to stand, he folded away his bedding in the living room where his father and new stepmother had been making him sleep on the floor, all the while monitored by CCTV set up to catch him "misbehaving".
For three months, his life was dictated by a cruel punishment regime enforced by Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes.That day would be his last alive.Warning - this article contains distressing content.Arthur's short life had been difficult. He lived with his mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, after she and Hughes split not long before his second birthday. After she was arrested for
killing her abusive partner in 2019, Arthur was left in the sole care of his father.Despite the challenges, he was a happy and cheeky child who was adored by his extended family. He loved school, football and superheroes.Dad and partner guilty of killing six-year-old headtopics.com
Not long after taking responsibility for Arthur, Hughes, 29, met Tustin on an online dating site. When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, the new couple made the decision to merge their families at Tustin's home on Cranmore Road in Solihull, where she lived with her own children, aged four and five.
It didn't take long for things to deteriorate for Arthur. By April, social services and police had paid a visit after referrals from his concerned grandmother, Joanne Hughes, and an anonymous tip off from Tustin's own parents. The 32-year-old was said to have "bristled with hostility" towards Arthur.
Mrs Hughes spotted extensive bruising on her grandson's back and he'd told her Tustin had slammed him into the stairs, calling him an "ugly, horrible brat".Image source,West Midlands PoliceImage caption,Arthur's grandmother alerted social services to bruises on his body, but no action was taken
The authorities found no cause for concern.Tustin and Hughes manipulated visitors, told them his bruises were down to play. Hughes would even call Arthur's school and tell teachers he'd been playing out in the garden. It was a lie.What they concealed was a campaign of violence, cruelty and abuse, designed to terrorise, debase and dehumanise the boy who depended on them. headtopics.com
Prosecutors noted how the day Arthur was fatally injured, there was barely an indication that he even lived at number 39 Cranmore Road, such was his isolation from the rest of the family.Media caption,Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Grandmother pays tribute to boy, six
He was monitored on CCTV set up around the home, cameras that would eventually capture Tustin callously trying to administer Calpol to the boy she had murdered just out of view in the hallway.The hallway where Arthur's heart stopped beating is where he had spent most of his time during lockdown. For up to 14 hours a day, he would stand facing the door, deprived of food, drink and affection. He would stand there alone while his father enjoyed chocolates and other treats in the kitchen with Tustin and her own children.
Image source,West Midlands PoliceImage caption,Arthur was monitored on CCTV which in court would be used to prove how he sufferedHis treasured possessions, including a favourite blanket, teddy bear and his beloved Birmingham City football shirts, were torn up and destroyed before his eyes by an enraged Hughes as another twisted punishment.
As he grew weaker and struggled to stand, Arthur would be punished further if he tried to move or sit down in the hallway.While alone, Arthur would often cry to himself. Tustin would record more than 200 clips of him in distress, including two particularly harrowing recordings where Arthur is heard begging in tears, "I want you to feed me, no one's going to feed me" and crying "no one loves me". headtopics.com
Tustin sent these recordings to Hughes who would respond with violent threats, encouraging his partner to harm his son. "Just end him," one message read. "I'll sort him out when I'm home," said another.Tustin complied, and by the time he died experts said the extent of Arthur's injuries met the medical definition of child torture. His tiny body bore more than 130 bruises.
Image source,Image caption,Arthur Labinjo-Hughes suffered a fatal collapse while at Emma Tustin's home in SolihullAll the while, Arthur was cut off from those who loved him and could help him. Tustin and Hughes simply kept him out of view.His maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, said Hughes had stopped her from seeing Arthur since 2019. She was not to see him again until he was fighting for his life in intensive care.
Tustin's hairdresser Catherine Milhench, known as "Affy", and her husband Tobias Jarman were among the last people to see Arthur alive. Not long after he weakly put away his bedding on 16 June, Tustin took Arthur to her appointment at Ms Milhench's home.
The couple were struck by the state of the boy they had last seen in February. Then, he was really quite healthy looking, they told the court. Just a few months later, he was gaunt, malnourished and too weak to hold a glass of water Mr Jarman had smuggled him.
In his eyes was fear, they would say, and it soon became apparent why. Like at home, he was forced to stand in the hallway and when he failed to stand up straight, Hughes was heard bellowing at his son, threatening to put him six feet under and to rip his head off and use it as a football.
Image caption,Arthur was fatally assaulted by Tustin in the hallway at the house on Cramore RoadShortly after 13:00 that day, the family was back home. Hughes took Tustin's children to the supermarket, leaving his own son in mortal danger.It's thought as soon as they were alone in the house, Tustin forced him to drink a salt slurry in the upstairs bathroom. Poisoned, Arthur would have deteriorated within about 45 minutes.
Tustin bombarded Hughes with messages complaining of the child's behaviour as his condition worsened. In a three-minute phone call, Hughes pretended they spoke about balloons for a birthday party but more likely, prosecutors suggest, he acted as he routinely did when Tustin reported Arthur's behaviour to him: in a rage, with threats, and encouraging violence.
Minutes later, Arthur was unconscious. Tustin had inflicted a catastrophic brain injury by shaking him and repeatedly slamming his head into a hard surface.As he died, she did nothing save take a photo and send it to Hughes. The camera in the living room captured Arthur slumped on the floor.
She carried him around the house, plotting how best to arrange him to fit her deception that she was blameless. Eventually, she would call an ambulance but it was too late, and Arthur died in hospital shortly after 01:00 the following morning.Since that moment, Tustin has sought to deflect blame. In differing accounts, she would variously blame Arthur for his own injuries.
"Whatever has happened, it has been done by his own actions," Tustin told jurors. Medical experts disagreed. There was no way the six-year-old boy could inflict these "unsurvivable" injuries on himself.She presented herself as a victim. She claimed it was in fact Arthur who was the aggressor in the house, that he had treated the couple badly, causing them "daily stress".Read more: BBC News (UK) »
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What they did was truly sickening. RIP Arthur. Poor, poor boy. Rest in peace little Angel 😔❤️ 11 years of Tory cuts and we wonder why our public services don't work. Heart breaking 😢😢😢 At times like this I struggle to find reasons NOT to have death sentence… No, I am not pro. I am just saying this is the moment I have serious doubts.
God bless you Arthur, what a beautiful little boy. My heart breaks for what you went through, you remain in my thoughts. Now at peace where no-one can harm you ♥️ I can’t read this - it’s horrible .. couldn’t stop crying bbcnewsisfake Stop spreading false news about Ethiopia He's got a little 'rock on' hand sign.. what a cute little child.. how horrible.. how tragic. I'm saddened by this new, behavior and oversight. Bet the real mother wishes..
Absolutely heartbreaking. RIP little man They should burn them disgusting people that did this
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Father and girlfriend found guilty over death of six-year-old boyA father has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his six-year-old son Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and his partner guilty of murder after they subjected the boy to months of physical and psychological abuse LisaSkyNews has the latest. Read more here: Vile evil monsters The poor little boy💕 I hope they get life in prison and never get parole. Never saw the footage. Wouldn’t want to, reading this was hard enough. Heartbreaking. Resting in the arms of the angels and surrounded by love now little man. I’m so sorry you were failed.
Why can’t we have the death penalty for the scum that has done this? IMO in certain states in the US. This crime would be punishable by death. We need to do the same here. She will get out when this child would’ve been 35. She will be 61. With no economic prospects. Misselijkmakend 🥲 That is utterly harrowing. That poor child. Sentence not nearly long enough.
Dont feel like mentioning that the government blocked the bill to stop MPs from having second jobs? Not news worthy? voteofnoconfidence It beggars belief such a bright little sprite Kid had no chance. Murderer for a mum, loser for a dad & murderer for a step mum. So heartbreaking and totally unacceptable. The police were told, the social services were told. I bet if the grandparents had taken him away they would have soon been in trouble.
Yes it is shocking that here we go again.This is not the social workers fault. It is a societal problem were we fail to protect the most vulnerable both in terms of fiscal and life chances outcomes. So take of your blinkers see things how they really are. This no accident. It's been tough enough for the public at large to read and hear the accounts of this lad's mistreatment. Goodness knows how the jury in this case must be now.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' stepmother is found GUILTYEmma Tustin, 32, from Solihull, killed Arthur Labinjo-Hughes by repeatedly slamming his head on a hard service after she and 29-year-old Thomas Hughes repeatedly abused him. 🥺 How is he not convicted of murder to? To allow that to happen to your own son and he encouraged it! Can only hope that prison justice is served for the pair of them
So, so sad, words can’t express it. 🙏 I have followed the trial of those disgusting people whose treatment of Arthur by those who should have looked after him was abhorrant behaviour. His biological father needs to have his sentence reviewed asap as he should serve the whole 21 years not out in 14 the_twelfth_Imam Ask God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, to send the Twelfth Imam sooner And cleanse the earth of oppressors and bring about world peace All pray
Speechless they should throw away the key
Dad and girlfriend guilty over killing of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-HughesEmma Tustin was unanimously found guilty of murder following Arthur’s death from unsurvivable brain injuries after he was found with 125 areas of bruising on his body.
Kate Garraway 'physically sick' hearing details of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes murderArthur Labinjo-Hughes was killed by Emma Tustin, who violently shook him and repeatedly banged his head against a hard surface 🙏
'Arthur may have lived if social services acted on my warnings about his mum'EMMA Tustin’s ex-boyfriend claimed Arthur Labinjo-Hughes would still be alive if social services had listened to his warnings about her. Tustin, 32, and Arthur’s dad Thomas, 29, were co… They should have observed his behaviour while inspecting him, it's just shocking they never noticed bruising or his withdrawn behaviour that is a big red flag in abused children! Poor little man. 😢 Many people guilty of this young ones life In prison, the evil stepmother & cowardly dad will hopefully be battered on a daily basis. But why ain`t the scummy social workers locked up? They have blood on their hands. Never punished because like muslim grooming gangs they are always protected by middle-class Labour MPs.
How Arthur was sent to live with killer dad after mum caged for killing loverTRAGIC Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was only sent to live with his killer dad and stepmum after his own mother was jailed for knifing her lover to death. Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow stabbed Gary Cunningham, 29…