Tragic Arthur’s grandad says killers deserve longer sentences and backs death penalty


Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of his father’s “evil” partner, 32-year-old Emma Tustin – with their sentences now branded “too lenient”

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was poisoned with salt and beaten by step mum Emma Tustin
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, was poisoned with salt and beaten by step mum Emma Tustin

The grandad of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes said his killer step-mother and father should face the death penalty – and has backed them both to get longer prison sentences.

Six-year-old Arthur was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of his father’s “evil” partner, 32-year-old Emma Tustin.

Tustin was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years at Coventry Crown Court on December 3.

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes – who was told his “infatuation” for Tustin had “obliterated” his love for his son – was jailed him for 21 years.

The jail sentences have been referred to the Court of Appeal for being too lenient.

Arthur’s maternal grandad Peter Halcrow has now said he agrees with the decision, saying “life should mean life in this horrific case”.

Emma Tustin in her mugshot who was convicted of murdering her six-year-old stepson Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
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Thomas Hughes, Arthur’s dad, was convicted of his son’s manslaughter
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Mr Halcrow, 61, previously said: “I have never favoured the death penalty because I know mistakes can be made by courts, but in my view they have forfeited their right to live.

“It will burden taxpayers but, as we don’t have capital punishment, they should certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity.”

Attorney General Suella Braverman: “This is an extremely upsetting and disturbing case, involving a clearly vulnerable young child.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, was poisoned with salt and beaten by step mum Emma Tustin
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“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.”

Posing in a hot tub without a care in the world – evil Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes picturing relax in the garden just weeks before killing Arthur
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A date for the hearing is yet to be set. The grim circumstances of Arthur’s death prompted an outpouring of grief and rage across the UK, and led to the Government announcing a major review into the circumstances which led to his murder.

It emerged at trial that Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, after concerns were raised by his paternal grandmother, Joanne Hughes, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

In her victim impact statement, Ms Hughes said Arthur would “be alive today” as a “happy, contented, thriving” child had her son not met Tustin.

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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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