Solihull Council's chief executive answers questions over Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' death - The Solihull Observer
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15th Aug, 2022

Solihull Council's chief executive answers questions over Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' death

Sarah Mason 29th Jun, 2022

A CATALOGUE of failings over the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes were laid bare at a scathing parliament hearing.

The Government’s Education Committee quizzed Solihull Council’s chief executive, Nick Page, and the council’s interim director of children’s services, Tim Browne, about the events leading up to the six-year-old’s death and the Council’s role.

During the three hour-long meeting Mr Page said: “This happened because we failed in our duty of care to Arthur across the agencies.

“We didn’t share information between police, education, the courts system and our health colleagues.

“We took on face value Arthur’s father’s capability and care for him.”

The committee hearing on Children’s Services about the murders of Star Hobson and Arthur that to say Arthur’s bruises were “ignored” rather than missed by social services was a “very fair and appropriate way of describing it”.

Caroline Johnson, a Conservative MP on the Commons’ Education Select Committee and a consultant paediatrician, asked why nobody had investigated bruises to Arthur’s back, as bruises on the back were “much more significant” than on the shins and legs, which can be as a result of play.

These were not investigated by the social worker who had seen them, with no follow-up child protection medical.

Mr Page was also asked if he would resign over Arthur’s death.

He said: “At this stage, I’m not going to resign because of all the levels of accountability.

“I share that responsibility with the chief constable, and at the time the chief executive of the Clinical Commissioning Group, so I accept my social workers should have done better.”

The six-year-old was murdered by his stepmother Emma Tustin at their home in Shirley in June 2020 and a report into his death found widespread failures at Solihull Council.

Emma Tustin was jailed for 29 years for the murder to the six-year-old boy at her home in Cranmore Road.

Arthur’s dad, Thomas Hughes, was also jailed for 21 after being found guilty on manslaughter at Coventry Crown Court.

They subjected Arthur to a ‘campaign’ of abuse, lying about his welfare to the school and misleading social services.

The pair were also convicted of child cruelty and made Arthur stand in isolation for 14 hours they also deprived him of food and water and poisoned him with salt.

Tustin and Hughes’ sentences are currently 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.

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