Tragic Arthur shares Liverpool football dream in video as stepmum and dad jailed

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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes spoke of how he wanted to play for Tottenham and Liverpool in a video shared on the day Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes were jailed over his death

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Family share clip of happy Arthur as they want him to be remembered

A sweet video has emerged of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes discussing his football dreams on the day his step-mum and dad were jailed.

In the video Arthur can be seen playing with a toy while lying back on a sofa.

A voice behind the camera asks him “Arthur are you going to play for England?”

To which he answers: “No, I’m going to play for Liverpool and then Tottenham.”

He then concedes after further questioning that he’d play for England following his club career.

A judge on Friday sentenced stepmum Emma Tustin to a minimum of 29 years in prison after being found guilty of the murder of Arthur, while his father Thomas Hughes was told he must serve a minimum of 21 years for manslaughter.

Arthur was filmed playing with toys while sitting on the sofa
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Tustin, 32, murdered the boy by causing a fatal head injury on 16 June last year.

She photographed him lying on the floor, sending the image to his 29-year-old father.

Hughes was convicted of the boy’s manslaughter.

Able to speak freely now the trial is over, neighbours told of the dysfunctional Solihull, West Midlands parents.

One neighbour claims Tustin chased her former partner down the street where she lived armed with a garden spade after a row erupted amid reports she ‘manipulated’ men repeatedly after they entered her life.

Hughes had moved in with Arthur to Tustin’s home at the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.

Arthur with his biological mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow
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The young boy was just six when he died
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Soon afterwards, Arthur was subjected to a regime of cruelty and abuse that ultimately led to his death on June 17 that year after Tustin inflicted fatal head injuries and poisoned him with salt.

Now, in the wake of the convictions for the killers, Tustin’s former home in the Solihull suburban street has become a shrine to Arthur.

Family, friends, neighbours and well-wishers have left flowers, teddy bears, Birmingham City FC memorabilia and balloons.

A number of neighbours and well-wishers, who did not wish to be named, have also spoken of the tragedy.

One told how Arthur and his father were a familiar sight on the road and were frequently seen out walking.

She said Arthur loved to play with her dog on her driveway.

“He walked down the road with his dad,” she said.

“He’d stop at my drive and play with my puppy often, sometimes for an hour.

“You would never know anything was happening.”

She said that before any of the tragic circumstances leading up to Arthur’s death happened, Hughes had been known and respected in the local community as a figure in local football.

“Before all this, he was a was a football coach and actually all right,” she said.

Arthur was frequently seen out walking in his road
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The same neighbour also recalled an incident involving Tustin and her former partner when she was particularly aggressive.

“She was a nutcase, a fruit loop,” she said.

“One day, her ex came down the road, there had been a row, and she was chasing him down the road with a garden spade.”

Another neighbour told how there was bad blood between Tustin and another neighbour soon after she moved in – about cats.

She said: “As soon as she moved in she gave a woman a few doors down a nervous breakdown – about cats.

“She was shouting ‘get your cats to stop s***ing on my driveway’.

“As if you can do that.”

The same neighbour said that Hughes seemed to have fallen under Tustin’s spell.

“You know when some bloke falls in love with someone and becomes besotted with her – that’s what happened,” she said.

While we were at the scene in Cranmore Road, a number of people stopped in cars and came to lay flowers in the garden.

Arthur’s mum released a statement on the day his step-mum and dad were jailed
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One woman said: “I didn’t know him personally but it has haunted me.

“I think it has just shocked the nation.

“Everybody has just cried for this boy.”

Another woman who stopped by to pay their respects said: “Your mentality has got to be sick to do that to a child.

“Every child needs to be disciplined but you do not need to go that far.”

There was some criticism of the authorities from people at the scene, too.

One woman said: “Social services came out and he was covered in bruises. The system failed.

“She shouldn’t have been allowed Arthur. She shouldn’t have been around any child.”

She added: “Also, they should have at least taken him out of there to talk to him to find out what he was really feeling.

“She knew what she was doing.

“And the school should have been around there as soon as he wasn’t at school.”

One man called at the scene to leave a Birmingham City scarf and said he wished his family could have adopted Arthur.

He said: “You should never be amazed at what man can do to man but you are.”

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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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