The mother of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has released a tribute to her six-year-old son Arthur after he was killed – but where was she when the horror took place?
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ convicted killer mum has released a statement about the death of her only son – from behind bars.
Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 27, is serving an 11-year sentence after stabbing her on-off partner to death in a drink and drug-fuelled rage at her flat in February 2019.
Just over a year later, her son Arthur was also killed and last week his father Thomas Hughes and his step mother Emma Tustin were jailed for their part in his tragic death.
During a court hearing at the couple’s trial, a statement written from prison was read out in court by Olivia’s mum and Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow.
In it Arthur’s mum said: “Never did I imagine he would be taken from this world so early in his life.
“The details of Arthur’s case are harrowing and incomparable – but I want people to know who Arthur was. From his huge smile and his personality to his gentle caring nature.
“All mothers are biased and believe their children are the best and I’m no different.
“Talking about Arthur’s loves would not be complete without mentioning superheroes, Marvel or DC. Arthur loved them all, from Batman to Black Panther, Aqua Man to the Flash.
“He had every costume and action figure and would spend hours dressing up and pretending he had all of their superpowers.”
Why was Arthur not with his mum?
For most of his life Arthur had lived with his mum Olivia, though she and Arthur’s dad Thomas Hughes shared custody after they split up before their son’s second birthday.
However, in February 2019, Labinjo-Halcrow was arrested on suspicion of murdering her new partner, Gary Cunningham.
When that happened, Hughes, 29, assumed full custody of Arthur. She was later convicted of manslaughter in court.
In March 2020 — just as UK went into lockdown – Hughes moved in with his new girlfriend Emma Tustin, 29 where reports found that Arthur was regularly beaten, starved, deprived of water and poisoned with salt.
Why is Arthur’s mum in prison?
Labinjo-Halcrow was originally sentenced to 18 years in jail for killing Mr Cunningham.
This conviction was quashed but she was convicted of manslaughter again during retrial earlier this year and sentenced to 11 years in prison in July.
Arthur’s death took place on June 16 last year when Labinjo-Halcrow was in jail and this was taken into consideration when she was sentenced.
What happened to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes?
Arthur suffered an “unsurvivable brain injury” which experts have said was having been shaken and his head being slammed either into the wall or the floor.
The eight-week trial at Coventry Crown Court into Arthur’s death found that he was alone at home with Tustin on June 16 2020 when she assaulted him.
On Friday, December 3, a jury unanimously convicted Tustin of murder and Hughes for manslaughter.
Although Tustin was initially sentenced to 29 years and Hughes to 21 years in prison, the the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) confirmed on Saturday that the sentences are to be reviewed.
Recalling the last time she spoke with her son, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow said: “‘It was the most excited I had ever heard him. He knew he was going to see me soon.
“A child, my child, my little love defenceless, trusting and nothing but loving was killed. His short life was stolen – he will never see another Christmas, another birthday.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.