Warning signs that lying killer stepmum was guilty all along are revealed by expert

Emma Tustin, 32, was filmed being quizzed by police after Arthur suffered a catastrophic head injury. She told officers who asked her what happened that the youngster had provoked her

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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ step-mum lies about his death to police

Harrowing bodycam footage showed the sickening moment Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ murderer fake cried while shockingly trying to blame him for the attack.

Emma Tustin, 32, was filmed being quizzed by police after Arthur suffered a catastrophic head injury.

Disturbingly, she told the officers who asked her what happened that the youngster had provoked her by headbutting her.

Tustin, found guilty of murder, calmly replied to the officer saying: “Basically, he [Hughes], has gone out to get me a birthday card and cake and stuff for the kids.

“Arthur was told to sit on the thinking step. He put himself all over the floor.

She told officers the boy had provoked her



“He’s banged himself off the radiator, he’s hit me, he’s kicked me in the process of me trying to get him back on the thinking step.”

She was later found guilty of murdering the six-year-old while Thomas Hughes, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter.

Today the couple were both jailed in court.

Tustin was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years for murder, while Hughes was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

Below, body language expert Judi James dissects the footage of Tustin to reveal more about the killer.

Judi says: “During this unbelievable performance, Tustin not only blames a six-year-old child for his own injuries, she also presents herself as the victim of any violence, sobbing tears of self-pity for what she says she was put through and appearing to expect pity for her own suffering rather than the boy’s.

The bodycam footage was filmed of Emma Tustin



“There could be a compelling body language reason for this incredible stance. Sobbing in grief for little Arthur might have been an act too far for a woman who clearly still appears to be in a state of what looks like un-maskable anger for the boy.

“Her off-hand gesticulation at the start of this performance and her wordiness after being asked to ‘just briefly’ answer a police officer’s question suggest a desire to step into the limelight and the dimple that appears on her left cheek suggests she is happy to talk in fast-paced detail about an event that ended in a small boy’s death.

“There is one cut-off ritual where she raises her hand to scratch then rub her nose that might hint at some discomfort or even subliminal thought that her story might sound unbelievable, but apart from that she speaks with what appears at first to be a total lack of pity for the boy and what later looks like open anger and hostility.

“If she was finding signals of anger impossible to suppress, she possibly chose to try and justify it instead.

Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes were convicted


Helen Tipper / SWNS)

“Her pitch is that she deserves sympathy rather than Arthur. By accusing him of being the attacker and posing as the victim herself she clearly allows herself to go into detail that looks suspiciously as though she is describing and acting out her own attacks.

“Liars will often hook a lie on some form of truth to help with their body language performances. This looks chillingly like a reversal process to allow her to tell the whole story but with the roles swapped so that she can adopt the role of the victim.

“Tustin’s confidence grows here to the point where she is even volunteering to mime her story for the cameras, pointing out the doorstep and even rolling her head backwards to show what Arthur did as she picked him up.

“Her anger signals appear to increase as she role-plays and to validate this she becomes even more emphatic in describing what she wants us to believe was her own suffering:

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes



“‘He hit me and kicked me’ ‘He headbutted me’ ‘He pushed me down the stairs’. We can see her nose wrinkle in a gesture of what looks like anger and disgust as she speaks about the small child.

“At one point she places one hand on her hip in a gesture that resembles partial aggressive arousal and rolls her eyes when talking about Arthur as though exasperated with him and as though she is expecting empathy from her audience.

“When she pauses and resorts to a ritual that implies tears they come at the point of her story that would imply self-pity rather than grief.

“While Tustin’s desire to perform and gain personal sympathy as a ‘victim’ while displaying signals of anger for a six year old boy takes place for the benefit of the cameras, Hughes hovers in the background looking less assured of his own role in the one-woman drama she is creating. He walks off at one point and Tustin glances in his direction in what looks like amazement.

“He has both hands on his hips in a splay gesture but one hand pushes up his t-shirt to bare his waist and he places his other hand to his head and pulls hard at his own hair in a gesture that could suggest a self-attack or signal anxiety.”

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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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