Tue. May 17th, 2022

Arthur Labinjo Hughes allegedly murdered by Thomas Hughes and Emma Tustin

Arthur was found with severe head injuries and bruises all over his body (Image: SnapperSK)

A six-year-old boy was subjected to months of abuse by his father and stepmother before killing him by banging his head ‘repeatedly against a hard surface’, a court has heard.

Thomas Hughes, 27, and his partner Emma Tustin, 31, are on trial accused of murdering young Arthur Labinjo-Hughes by leaving him with an ‘insurmountable brain injury’ in June 2020.

Tustin allegedly attacked Arthur while caring for him at her home in Solihull, West Midlands, and took a picture of him lying dying.

Despite having her phone, she did not call 999 until 12 minutes later, telling doctors he had bumped into her, and after falling and hitting her head, he ‘knocked his head five more times’ by himself.

Paramedics found him in cardiac arrest and managed to revive him and take him to the hospital, where doctors discovered ‘extensive bruises … all over his body’ and tests showed he had been ‘poisoned with salt’, prosecutors said.

Arthur was taken to intensive care after suffering two more cardiac arrests, but doctors decided he could not be rescued and he died later that night.

Jurors at Coventry Crown Court heard how Arthur’s were physically and verbally abused, isolated, access to food and drink was controlled or restricted, he was deprived of basic living comfort; a bed, clothes’.

Arthur had been in full-time care for his father after his mother, Olivia Labinjo, was convicted of manslaughter in 2019.

A DAD and his girlfriend have been arrested on suspicion of murder after his 'naughty' six-year-old son died of head injuries.  Tom Hughes, 27, and Emma Tustin, 31, are being held after Arthur Hughes, six, died of serious head injuries sustained at their home in Solihull, West Mids.

Tom Hughes admitted to having physically and verbally intimidated Arthur, but denies other charges

A DAD and his girlfriend have been arrested on suspicion of murder after his 'naughty' six-year-old son died of head injuries.  Tom Hughes, 27, and Emma Tustin, 31, are being held after Arthur Hughes, six, died of serious head injuries sustained at their home in Solihull, West Mids.

Emma Tustin allegedly sent Hughes pictures and audio clips of Arthur being punished

The boy and his father moved into Tustin’s home a few months before he died, yet there was ‘no clear evidence of the presence of Arthur living in the house’, said Jonas Hankin, who accused.

Sir. Hankin said it appeared Arthur was ‘created to sleep on the living room floor’ and that ‘a duvet was found in a cupboard under the stairs’.

He added: ‘And he suffered psychological abuse – bullying in plain language.’

Tustin took pictures and more than 200 audio files of Arthur being punished, which she sent to Hughes.

Jury members were told he was forced to stand for hours ‘isolated’, sometimes on a step at the front door, where he would be ‘punished for unauthorized movements, including attempts to sit down’.

A DAD and his girlfriend have been arrested on suspicion of murder after his 'naughty' six-year-old son died of head injuries.  Tom Hughes, 27, and Emma Tustin, 31, are being held after Arthur Hughes, six, died of serious head injuries sustained at their home in Solihull, West Mids.

Arthur died of serious head injuries at home in Solihull, West Midlands

A touching note was left among the flower shelves of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

A tribute was paid to Arthur, who is said to be happy and healthy before moving to Tustin (Photo: BPM MEDIA)

On one occasion, Hughes sent a message to Tustin: ‘Tell him not to move a muscle – put him by the fridge, put him outside or anywhere, give him away. Put him out with the trash.

At another point, he wrote, ‘Just stop him’ and ‘I’ll fill him in when I get back’.

Days before Arthur died, his father should have said to a neighbor, ‘If you hear someone say’ do not kill me ‘, ignore it, I’m not hurting him.’

Tustin has acknowledged a charge of child abuse by ‘forcing [Arthur] to stand, isolate him in the family home and physically or verbally intimidate him ‘, with Huges denying a similar accusation.

Hughes and Tustin are charged with three more counts of child abuse against the boy by administering salt, assault several times and withholding food and / or drink.

Both deny killings as well as the additional charges. The trial continues.

Contact our news team by sending us an email at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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