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Court shown footage of ‘boy’s final moments after months of alleged abuse’

Juror’s have been shown footage of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ final moments after he was allegedly subjected to months of ‘systematic abuse’.

CCTV footage, captured inside a house in Cranmore Road, Solihull, is said to have shown the six-year-old ‘unconscious and limp’ after he was allegedly fatally assaulted.

In the months leading up to his death, it’s claimed Arthur was forced to spend marathon “stints” confined to a hallway and poisoned with salt as part of a ‘campaign of cruelty’.

Arthur’s dad, Thomas Hughes and his girlfriend, Emma Tustin, both deny murder.

READ MORE: Live updates: Jury hears Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, say ‘no-one loves me’ as dad and girlfriend accused of murder

Today at Coventry Crown Court, a witness claimed Arthur appeared “skeletal”, had shaking legs and collapsed into a car on the day before he was fatally injured.

Jurors were also told that Hughes and Tustin took turns to shout at the youngster “like a game of tennis” as he was made to stand facing a door.

Hughes, 29, and Tustin, 32, are accused of mistreating Arthur before he suffered an “unsurvivable” brain injury at his home in Solihull, on June 16, 2020.

Emma Tustin, Thomas Hughes and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Arthur died in hospital in the early hours of the following day.

Giving evidence on the sixth day of the couple’s trial, Tustin’s hairdresser, Catherine Milhench, said she wished she had called police after seeing Arthur on June 15 and 16.

Ms Milhench, who works from home and first cut Tustin’s hair in the summer of 2019, said she met Arthur later that year and he seemed “absolutely fine, healthy, a normal boy”.

READ MORE:Arthur Labinjo-Hughes dad told girlfriend ‘just end him’ – court hears

But, during a six-hour hair appointment on June 15 2020, Arthur was said to have ‘deteriorated’.

Ms Milhench told the court: “You could see his collar bones. He was wearing a pyjama onesie and you could just see his collar bones sticking out.

“I didn’t remember that from last time. He had lost weight.”

Flowers and tributes laid at the home of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes following his death
Flowers and tributes laid at the home of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes following his death

Ms Milhench said the boy appeared to be drained and weak, adding: “It wasn’t nice to see.

“His legs trying to walk up the stairs would be shaking like he couldn’t hold himself up.

“I remember Arthur falling on the floor. He just collapsed and fell into the car.”

The court heard Tustin returned to complete her hair appointment on June 16, arriving at around 9.45am.

READ MORE:Arthur Labinjo-Hughes ‘spent 26hrs in hallway while murder accused ate ice cream’

During that visit, Ms Milhench said Tustin and Hughes were constantly swearing at Arthur “like a game of tennis”, with Tustin going on to claim that Arthur was being “pressure-pointed”.

The court was also told that Ms Milhench’s partner, Tobias Jarman, snuck a drink of water to Arthur without Tustin and Hughes knowing.

Mr Jarman, who said Arthur looked “malnourished” and had cracked lips, told the court: “I tried to reassure him. I said, ‘you have not got to be scared of me in any way’.

“He looked petrified. It was not the normal glow you see in a kid’s eyes of that age.”

A touching note left among the floral tributes to six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
A touching note left among the floral tributes to six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Later that day, the couple and Arthur returned home, before Hughes left the house to go shopping.

CCTV footage from inside the Solihull house was then shown to the courtroom.

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said: “During this clip, the prosecution contends that Ms Tustin assaulted Arthur causing him his fatal injuries.

“Specifically at around 2.29pm during an interval she is off-screen for about one minute.”

Mr Hankin continues: “She returns carrying Arthur into the living room. His body is limp. She carries Arthur into the kitchen then into the living room and places him on the floor.

“Arthur appears to be unconscious. His eyes are closed, body is limp.

“He falls to the left onto the floor.”

The next footage from 2.34pm is then alleged to show Tustin partially picking Arthur up from the floor, before dragging him into the hallway. She then reappears and places Arthur on the sofa before walking into the kitchen.

She is said to have then called Hughes, who returns home.

The trial continues.

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