Jail terms handed to father and stepmother who killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes are referred to Court of Appeal by Attorney General for being too lenient
By Dan Sales For Mailonline
Published: | Updated:
The jail sentences handed to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, who killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, have been referred to the Court of Appeal for being too lenient, the Attorney General Suella Braverman has announced.
Six-year-old Arthur was beaten and tortured before his murder at the hands of stepmother Emma Tustin at her home in Solihull.
The case prompted a national outpouring of grief and ministers vowed to take action after Tustin was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 29 years and Arthur’s father, Thomas Hughes, was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter.
Six-year-old Arthur was beaten and tortured before his murder at the hands of his stepmother
The case prompted a national outpouring of grief and ministers vowed to take action after Tustin was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 29 years and Arthur’s father, Thomas Hughes, was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter
It emerged in court that Arthur was seen by social workers during the first national lockdown just two months before his death in Solihull, West Midlands, in June last year. But they concluded there were ‘no safeguarding concerns’ and closed the file.
Tustin and Hughes starved the youngster, force-fed him salt-laden dishes and made him stand alone for more than 14 hours a day, in a degrading, punishing and hellish regime over the last painful months of his life.
He was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of his father’s “evil” partner Tustin.
Arthur, whose body was also covered in 130 bruises, died in hospital the next day.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes waking up hours before he collapsed from fatal injuries on CCTV
The photograph taken by Arthur’s paternal grandmother prompted a referral to social services, however the bruises were put down to ‘play-fighting’ with another youngster
“Manipulative” and “calculating” Tustin was unanimously convicted after an eight-week trial trial, with the boy’s “pitiless” father Hughes found guilty of his manslaughter, after encouraging the killing.
Hughes’ “infatuation” for Tustin had “obliterated” any love for his son, sentencing judge Mr Justice Mark Wall QC said, and jailed him for 21 years.
Referring the case to the Court of Appeal, Ms Braverman said: “This is an extremely upsetting and disturbing case, involving a clearly vulnerable young child.
“Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes grossly abused their position of trust and subjected an innocent child, who they should have been protecting to continued emotional and physical abuse.
“I understand how distressing the public have found this case, but it is my job to decide if a sentence appears to be unduly lenient based on the facts of the case.
“I have carefully considered the details of this case, and I have decided to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal as I believe them to be too low.”
A date for the hearing at the Court of Appeal is yet to be set.