Family heartbroken as memorial to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes vandalised - The Solihull Observer

Family heartbroken as memorial to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes vandalised

Solihull Editorial 7th Mar, 2023   0

THE FAMILY of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes have been left heartbroken after vandals snapped one of the trees planted in his memory.

A memorial bench and six trees were planted in memory of the six-year-old on the green near Cranmore Road for Silhillians to remember Arthur who was murdered and abused in 2020.

Bernie Dixon, the six-year-old’s cousin, said: “It was for Arthur, it feels quite painful to hear someone has done this.

“Even in death he is not getting any peace.”

Silhillians came together in mourning for Arthur when his stepmum, Emma Tustin, and father, Thomas Hughes, were jailed for their part in the Birmingham City fan’s death.

Waves of flowers, teddies and balloons were left in his memory in the days following the pair’s sentencing and it was from this a more permanent memorial for Arthur was created for people to go to.

Bernie said: “Arthur was loved and Solihull was devastated when they heard about what had happened to him and a lot of people wanted to give some love back and this was a way to do it.

“The public have been very supportive of Arthur’s memory in so many ways and that’s amazing.

“As a family member it hurts to hear what someone has done to something created in his memory.”

Bernie said this is the second time the memorial has been attacked – previously solar lights that had been placed by residents had been kicked over.

In a message to those who had caused the damage Bernie said: “The memorial was for the public to reflect not just to remember Arthur but for their own losses too.

“We wanted to provide a nice space for people and it is disappointing that people think it’s ok to destroy it for no reason.

“If you’re not happy with it then just move on, do not disturb it.”

The trees were put into place by volunteers at Arthur’s Angels Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of the youngster in a bid to spread kindness in his name across Solihull, Birmingham and beyond and Bernie says she will be relying on their kindness once again to put a new tree into place.

Bernie said they may look at putting cameras into place or a fence to protect the site which was permitted by Solihull Council.

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