Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ grandfather has spoken out following Thomas Hughes and Emma Tustin’s sentencing.
The six-year-old boy was beaten and killed by his father and stepmother on June 16, 2020, at their Solihull home.
On Friday, December 3, Hughes, 29, was found guilty of manslaughter and received 21 years in prison, and Tustin, 32, was found guilty of murder, receiving a total of 29 years.
Arthur’s grandfather, Peter Halcrow, 61, has since responded to the pair’s sentencing.
In the weeks prior to his death, the court heard that Arthur had been poisoned and physically assaulted, with a total of 130 injuries found on his body.
Halcrow, 61, told The Sun he thinks Hughes and Tustin should ‘never see the light of day again’.
No punishment could ever be enough for this pair.
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.
While he noted that it may ‘burden taxpayers’, Halcrow stressed the pair should ‘certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity’.
While expressing his horror at both Hughes and Tustin, Halcrow also said he was ‘shocked and mystified’ that social services or police didn’t intervene, with four failings having been identified in relation to Arthur’s death.
Halcrow explained that he hadn’t ‘realise[d] how much [Arthur] suffered until the court case’ and that he had been left ‘feeling physically sick’ ‘for the last 38 days’ from finding out more details online.
‘I still can’t fully process it but mine is a story you couldn’t make up — my daughter is in prison for killing someone and my grandson has been tortured to death. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this,’ he said.
Hughes and Tustin’s sentences are set to be reviewed the Attorney General’s Office, after they were viewed as being too lenient.
Yesterday, December 5, Dominic Raab noted he also ‘fully supports’ the decision.
In an attempt to avoid the same failings that let down Arthur, an investigation will be conducted by the chief of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, Annie Hudson.
Moreover, safeguarding agencies located in Solihull are set to be inspected by Ofsted, emergency services and the Care Quality Commission.
Halcrow hopes the new inquiry ‘finds everyone responsible, leaves no stone unturned and punishes those who let Arthur down if they are proven to have been negligent’.
He concluded: ‘Nothing can bring him back, but I don’t want any other child or any other family to have this experience ever again. Too many children have been failed and I want our Arthur to be the last.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111
f you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677