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16th May, 2022

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' stepmum could have her jail sentence

Sarah Mason 13th May, 2022

THE EVIL step-mum of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes could have her jail sentence increased following a hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Emma Tustin was jailed for at least 29 years for murder and Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes got 21 years for manslaughter last December.

But now their cases are being reviewed by judges at the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme following a referral from the Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC.

Arthur died from a brain injury inflicted by Tustin at her Cranmore Road home in Shirley in June 2020.

Police pieced together the events after trawling through hours of CCTV from inside the home and studying hundreds of messages, videos, audio files and photos on Tustin’s and Hughes’ mobile phones.

This included a message from Hughes to Tustin saying “Just end him.”

During the trial at Coventry Crown Court harrowing videos were shown of Arthur being forced to sleep on the floor, stand in isolation for hours at a time, being sworn at and calling out no one loves him.

Arthur and Hughes, of Stroud Road, moved in with Tustin at the start of lockdown in March 2020.

After Arthur’s death a neighbour told police she’d seen Arthur in February he’d seemed healthy, but by June he appeared physically weak, struggling to stand and he had difficulty in climbing stairs.

Tustin and Hughes, who were also convicted of child cruelty, had made Arthur stand in isolation for 14 hours at a time and had also deprived him of food and water and poisoned him with salt.

During the trial the court heard how Tustin and Hughes also lied about his welfare to the school and misled social services.

Since the conviction a Joint Targeted Area Inspection, which was launched by Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, has taken place.

It looked into how organisations work together to protect young people in the borough from harm.

While the inspection hasn’t looked into the circumstances of Arthur’s death specifically, it found a number of improvements were needed from those providing local services.

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