‘Treat them like sex beasts and put child abusers on register’ demands Tony Hudgell’s mum

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‘Change the law for Arthur’ – that’s the call from the adoptive mother of Tony Hudgell, who lost his legs after horrific abuse, as she demands a child abuse register following the shocking murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Paula Hudgell, the stepmother of Tony who was abused by his parents, has called on the law to be changed
Paula Hudgell, the stepmother of Tony who was abused by his parents, has called on the law to be changed

Tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died aged six after being poisoned, starved and beaten by the people expected to love and care for him.

On Friday his killer father and stepmum were jailed for a total of 50 years between them. But as the law stands they will be released back into society without any checks after serving their time.

That is why the Government is being urged to set up a register of child abusers just like the one that already keeps tabs on sex beasts.

While it would not have prevented Arthur’s death it would ensure his killers are monitored on release.

The plea came from the adoptive mother of Tony Hudgell – who lost his legs because his parents tortured him so much as a baby.

Arthur was left with an unsurvivable brain injury
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PA)

Bruises to the body of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
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SWNS)

Earlier last week Paula Hudgell won her long-running campaign for “Tony’s Law” to ensure child abusers stay in jail longer. But she also believes more needs to be done to keep track of those convicted of attacking youngsters – either once released from prison or when probation supervision comes to an end.

Paula said: “Sex offenders are subject to the stringent legal requirements of signing on a register and having to notify police of any aliases or addresses they use, and of any changes to that information. The same should apply to those who inflict cruelty to children.”

She spoke out after Emma Tustin, 32, was sentenced to a minimum of 29 years on Friday after being found guilty of murdering stepson Arthur in a case that revolted the nation.

The boy’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, got 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter at Coventry crown court.

Thomas Hughes, 29, has been found guilty of manslaughter
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Emma Tustin has been convicted of murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes
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The pair from Solihull, West Midlands, were branded inhuman by the judge, who said it was “one of the most distressing and disturbing cases I have had to deal with”.

Mrs Hudgell, 54, a mum of eight from Kings Hill, Kent, said: “It breaks my heart that any child can suffer such abhorrent torture like poor Arthur.

“Tustin and Hughes are pure evil but one day they will be free – more proof of why we need a child cruelty register to keep track of monsters like them.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab Meets Tony Hudgell and his adopted parents at the Ministry of Justice
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Tim Hammond / No10 Downing Street)

Last week Paula met Justice Secretary Dominic Raab – who unveiled plans for tougher sentences for abusers.

It will enable courts to impose life, up from 14 years, for an offence of causing or allowing a child’s death. Those who cause or allow serious harm could get 14 years, up from 10.

During her meeting at the Department of Justice, Paula also said abusers must be monitored after release.

Paula pushed for a serious case review by Kent Safeguarding Children Board
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Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

She said: “I raised the issue with Mr Raab during our meeting and he said it was a very important one. He immediately asked his aides for more detail on the subject.

“We also discussed the need for a specialist department within the Crown Prosecution Service to deal with child cruelty cases as they can often prove very complex.”

Paula started her campaign for Tony’s Law when his sadistic biological parents were jailed for just 10 years each in February 2018 for cruelty.

Tony’s parents Jody and Tony Smith were given the maximum jail term of just 10 years
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Kent Police)

The new law would see the the maximum sentence increase
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Kent Police)

Tony suffered eight fractures to his thighbones, lower legs, right ankle, toe bones and thumb days after he was born in October 2014.

His parents Tony Smith and Jody Simpson then delayed seeking medical help when he became seriously ill. He developed multiple organ failure and sepsis and had to have both legs amputated.

Tony, now seven, also has a dislocated hip, a damaged jawbone, and is deaf in one ear.

Medics did not expect the tiny tot to survive, but they battled for six weeks to save him and later had to amputate both of Tony’s legs from below the knee
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STEVE FINN PHOTOGRAPHY)

When Smith and Simpson were jailed at Maidstone crown court, Judge Philip Statman imposed the maximum term available, telling the pair: “I cannot envisage a worse case.”

Paula said: “The fact the judge could not jail them for longer was what led to the campaign for Tony’s Law. Ten years, with release after five, just didn’t seem enough. They will spend a few more years on licence and under the supervision of the probation service.

“But after that they are free to live their lives without any checks on their whereabouts and behaviour.”

The Attorney General has confirmed their sentences will be reviewed
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PA)

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Meanwhile more grim evidence of evil Emma Tustin’s behaviour emerged. Neighbour Kerry Vines, 37, said: “I once saw her chasing her ex-partner down the street with a spade. And she’s had fights in the street.

“When Arthur moved in, she’d be screaming on her driveway, saying, ‘Get this f***ing kid out my house, I don’t like him’. She’d throw his clothes and toys out of the top window.”

Kerry is organising a balloon release for Arthur tomorrow with hundreds due to attend.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office tonight confirmed Tustin and Hughes’ sentences would be reviewed to “determine whether they were too low”.

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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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