Grandmother of murdered Arthur, 6, weeps as balloons released in his memory

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Emma Tustin’s former cellmate Elaine Pritchard claimed the evil woman had not mentioned she had killed Arthur, but told inmates she was being held in prison because Thomas Hughes ‘neglected’ his son

The devastated grandmother of murdered Arthur Labinjo-Hughes wept today as balloons were released in his memory.

Hundreds gathered for a vigil in Solihull outside the home where the six-year-old was killed.

Arthur’s maternal grandmother Madeleine Halcrow could be seen wiping away tears at the vigil while wearing a T-shirt bearing his face.

It comes after it emerged the cellmates of the evil stepmother responsible for Arthur’s death laced her food with salt after learning she killed the six-year-old .

Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the child’s murder.

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

A vigil was held today outside the home where Arthur was killed
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Image:

PA)

This afternoon, a crowd gathered outside the house in Cranmore Road, Solihull, where the six-year-old was killed.

Organised by a local resident, the vigil saw people laying flowers, holding balloons and placing posters and banners paying tribute to Arthur at the property.

The crowd lined the road before letting go of the balloons, some bearing messages, and applauding.

Residents, some with tears in their eyes, could be heard saying “bye Arthur” and “fly high always”.

Tearful residents gathered in memory of the little boy
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Jonathan Hipkiss/Birmingham Mail)

They then formed a line outside the house before balloons, posters and flowers were placed around the property.

The words “You are loved Arthur” were put on the boarded-up window.

A Birmingham City flag was also placed at the scene, along with a picture of Arthur.

Tustin’s former cellmate Elaine Pritchard claimed the evil woman had not mentioned she had killed Arthur, but told other inmates she was being held in prison because Hughes “neglected” his son.

Elaine, who shared a cell with Tustin at Eastwood Park prison in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, said she only discovered the truth about the charges the stepmother was facing when she found and read her case paperwork.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was cruelly abused and murdered
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PA)

She told The Sunday Mirror: “We had a fight – it was me more than her. I got angry because I’d read about how he [Arthur] had 130 bruises and I asked how she wouldn’t notice when she gave him a bath.

“She said she just used to give him a towel. I pressed the bell and said if the prison officers didn’t get her out then I’d be staying there a long time.”

Tustin was then moved to a different cell, but Elaine said that when other prisoners learned how Tustin poisoned Arthur with salt, they laced her meals with it.

She said: “Some of the things we did were cruel – but she was crueller to Arthur so she deserved it.”

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes has been found guilty of manslaughter
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PA)

Today, hundreds of people gathered for a balloon release to pay tribute to Arthur and show that he was loved.

The six-year-old was died after suffering an “unsurvivable” brain injury while the country was on lockdown.

Everyone present then started applauding after standing in silence to remember the child.

The gathering was organised by Kerry Vines, a resident of Cranmore Road, where Arthur lost his life, who said: “It’s about showing Arthur that we are all thinking of him, and he was a very loved little boy.

“It will also be a celebration of his life. He finally got the justice he deserved.”

Hundreds of people gathered for a balloon release for little Arthur today
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Image:

Jonathan Hipkiss/Birmingham Mail)

Meanwhile, the Government confirmed a major review into the circumstances which led to the murder of Arthur.

The action comes after it emerged in court the boy had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

The Children’s Commissioner for England added the voices of children “must” be listened to in the wake of the tragedy.

Dame Rachel de Souza said more must be done to support social workers to spot similar cases, but the coronavirus lockdown has “weakened” the system.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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