UK

Father and girlfriend found guilty over death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six

A father has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his six-year-old son Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and his partner guilty of murder after they subjected the boy to months of physical and psychological abuse.

Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin, 32, were jointly accused over the child’s death, but the little boy was in the sole care of Tustin when he suffered an “unsurvivable brain injury” in June 2020.

Warning: This story contains distressing details about the treatment and subsequent death of a little boy

Coventry Crown Court heard that the youngster was most likely “vigorously shaken and his head repeatedly banged against a hard surface”.

Arthur and his father moved in with Tustin and her children as the first coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March 2020.

Arthur’s grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told Sky News that Hughes suddenly stopped her seeing her grandson in 2019, and the couple then “cut off contact from everyone”.

“I think they are cold, calculating, systematic torturers of a defenceless little boy,” she said.

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“They’re wicked, evil, there’s no word for them, especially your own child who you’ve got a duty of care to protect.”

Jurors were told that Tustin took a photograph of Arthur as he lay dying in the hallway, then failed to call 999 for 12 minutes. She claimed he had inflicted the injuries on himself.

Hospital notes revealed he had also been “poisoned with salt”, was malnourished and had 130 injuries, both old and new, over his frail body.

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