US News

Evil stepmum guilty of torturing and killing six-year-old son

A son who was killed by his evil stepmum has received justice in court today after the woman was found guilty of his murder.

Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was murdered by his stepmum, Emma Tustin, after she dished out an “unsurvivable” brain injury to the little boy during lockdown in June 2020.

Arthur’s dad Thomas Hughes, 29, was on trial for eight weeks at court with 32-year-old Tustin, where it was heard how Arthur was fatally attacked in the care of his stepmum.

Tustin allegedly retrieved her camera phone to take a picture of Arthur as he lay dying on the hallway floor of the family’s home.

The mum of Arthur described her son as “the light of my life” in a moving statement read in court

Today, evil Tustin was found guilty of murder, whilst Hughes was found guilty of manslaughter.

At the trial at Coventry Crown Court an audio recording in which Arthur can be heard saying “no-one loves me”, and another in which he cried “no-one’s gonna feed me” was aired.

Haunting video footage shows the moment he struggled to lift a light duvet and struggled to stand just hours before he died, according to Mirror Online.

Hughes, of Solihull, West Midlands, was accused of encouraging the killing, including by sending a text message to Tustin 18 hours before the fatal assault telling her “just end him”.

Prosecutors claimed the pair carried out a “campaign of cruelty” amounting to “torture” against Arthur, in which he was force-fed salt-laced meals, kept isolated in the home, starved, dehydrated and routinely beaten.

The usually “chubby, happy” and “always smiley” boy moved into Tustin’s home at the start of the first national lockdown in March 2020, but one witness described how he looked “broken” just before his death less than three months later.

Emma Tustin dealt an “unsurvivable” brain injury to little Arthur during lockdown in June 2020
Emma Tustin dealt an “unsurvivable” brain injury to little Arthur during lockdown in June 2020

Jurors were told that tests later revealed Arthur had also been “poisoned with salt” in the hours before his collapse, while a post-mortem examination found the youngster had suffered about 130 separate injuries.

Tustin had already admitted two counts of child cruelty during the trial, including carrying out three assaults on the boy and also making him sit or stand in her hallway for up to 14 hours a day as part of a behavioural regime.

She has accepted making 200 audio recordings of Arthur, often crying and moaning during these punishments, claiming she did so only to send them to Hughes in order to demonstrate the boy’s “naughty” behaviour while he was absent.

Some of these extracts were played to the court, including one in which the boy can be heard saying “no-one loves me”, and another in which he cried “no-one’s gonna feed me”.

Hughes, in evidence, alleged Tustin “mentally abused” and “gaslighted” him into complying with the punishing disciplinary regime, but also admitted lying to school staff who were checking on Arthur’s progress during the first Covid lockdown.

He previously said he had “probably” placed the couple’s relationship above the welfare of his son.

The day before the child died, his dad texted about paying someone to ‘dig Arthur’s grave’
The day before the child died, his dad texted about paying someone to ‘dig Arthur’s grave’

Tustin, who has accepted being cruel to Arthur on occasions and was pregnant with Hughes’ unborn child at the time, has said she was “disgusted and ashamed” by her admitted behaviour.

But she claimed that Arthur’s fatal head injury must have been self-inflicted, possibly caused by him throwing himself down the staircase in her hallway, and describing how she heard a “bang” and a “crack”.

During her evidence, she said that just because medical experts had concluded Arthur’s death had been caused by head trauma “inflicted upon him by an adult”, that “doesn’t make it true”.

The mum of tragic lad described her son as “the light of my life” in a moving statement.

Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 27, said the abuse he suffered was “harrowing and incomparable”.

The jailed mum, who is serving an 11-year prison term for killing her boyfriend in 2019, said her son was “my best friend”.

In a statement from her prison cell, she described him as a “beautiful little boy that I knew and loved deeply”.

She wrote: “The details of Arthur’s case are harrowing and incomparable. But I want people to know who Arthur was, from his huge smile and personality to his gentle and caring nature.

“All mothers are biased and believe that their children are the best, and I’m no different. From the moment Arthur was born he filled my life with joy. He was always smiling and had the most inquisitive little mind.

This picture taken by Arthur's grandmother two months before his death prompted a referral to social services
This picture taken by Arthur’s grandmother two months before his death prompted a referral to social services

“Arthur’s super power was his smile.”

The sheer cruelty of the couple was played out in the courtroom over two months.

Texts between them showed their feelings towards the little boy, whose mother was previously jailed for the manslaughter of her boyfriend.

In brutal messages, Hughes told Tustin to ‘just end’ Arthur and also ‘take his jaw off’ and ‘gag’ him. He also threatened to ‘take his neck off’ and ‘dash my food off his head’.

The day before the child died, his dad texted about paying someone to ‘dig Arthur’s grave’.

In one message she said ‘f****** launch this lying little f***’ and in another she warned she was ‘going to chin this little c***’.

Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?

We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.

We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.

Signing up is simple, easy and free.

You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.

Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.

The pair denied murder and two allegations of child cruelty; by administering salt to Arthur between June 1 and 17 last year and by withholding food and drink.




Source link

Back to top button