Emma Tustin has been jailed for life for murdering her six-year-old stepson Arthur, while the boy’s father Thomas Hughes has been sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter
A former prisoner says there will be “no hiding” in prison for the couple behind the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who he says may be targeted by inmates with “nothing to lose”.
Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life for murdering her six-year-old stepson Arthur while the boy’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.
Over the weekend it emerged that cellmates of evil stepmother Tustin laced her food with salt , after learning she killed the six-year-old.
Reformed criminal Richard Jones has spoken about the experience he would expect the pair to have in prison.
While Tustin, who used to make Arthur stand still facing a wall for hours on end, has been given the longer sentence, it would likely be Hughes that would suffer the most behind bars, Jones said.
The 51-year-old went on to say the pair would be classed as the “lowest of the low”.
“To be involved in the death of a child through abuse is right up there with the paedos and the rapists,” he said.
“She will probably have an easier time than him despite getting a life sentence – just because of the nature of people around her.
“Some women will hate her, she may get some grief, but it depends on the prison. He will be the one in fear for his life more than anyone because men are inherently more violent.”
Ex-soldier Jones was himself released from jail in 2019 after serving seven years for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
And he spoke to the Daily Star about the parents of little Arthur who was poisoned, starved and beaten during a campaign of horrific abuse before his death.
Jones now believes the boy’s killers will have “nowhere to hide” in jail.
He said: “Because this case is so public, everyone will know who they are and there will be no hiding. He’s got however many years inside but it only takes a few seconds to do the damage.
“People are not going to be that fussed about terrorising his food because they are going to be more bothered about getting to him.
“It’s going to be the people in these prisons who have nothing to lose – but he won’t know who they are. It could even be someone waiting for him on the outside – that is years away but people never forget.”
And he also said the killers may be attacked in prison by someone they won’t consider to be a threat.
He added: “There will always be someone there, either in the female or male estate, who they will come across eventually who hasn’t got any f***s to give and they will take it out on them.
“That person could be someone going about their business and is normally OK but it only takes one person to have a bad phone call and they come out with an axe to grind and think ‘right I’m doing them in today’.
“They can think they are safe with that person because normally they ignore them but this time that person who ignores them has had a bad call or lost a parent or is dumped and they suddenly have nothing left to lose.
“It could be something as simple as that.”
Jones also believes Hughes will have to be careful every time he moves prisons.
He added: “When he goes from Category A to category B and so on he has to start the journey again.
“You can’t build a reputation or a social platform in one prison and move to the next and hope you will be OK. It will be totally different people, screws, wings, layouts and he will have to start again.”
Arthur, from Solihull, was killed in June 2020 after suffering brain damage from a “shaking injury”.
His killers were jailed at Coventry Crown Court last Friday – with Tustin having to serve a minimum of 29 years.
Tustin had tried to blame the sickening injuries on Arthur himself after she lied to cops who were responding to the 999 call.
But the disturbing truth was that Tustin repeatedly smacked his head against a hard surface.
And Jones warned that when he served in Lowdham Grange Prison, information was leaked about one lag who had reportedly abused a child.
Explaining the consequences, he said: “We discovered a guy there and he was quite badly assaulted with a blade in one of the wings because they found he had assaulted a child.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.