MailOnline has learned that relatives believe lawyers could be hired to resolve a dispute between the family members over who should burrow Arthur Labinjo Hughes’s body.

According to family members, there is a dispute between the biological relatives of the victim’s six-year-old over the final resting spot.

Madeleine Halcrow (Arthur’s maternal grandmother), told MailOnline that Arthur’s body is still in Leicester Royal Infirmary, where the post-mortem took place 16 months ago, due to legal disputes over who can lay him to repose.

He should be buried in quiet service in the churchyard of Birmingham by his family. The Hughes family has a plot and wants to manage the funeral.

Ms Halcrow confirmed she had sought legal advice with a firm of solicitors and added: ‘I hope that we can reach some sort of agreement with the Hughes family – for Arthur’s sake.

“But, for the moment it doesn’t seem that way. It’s becoming increasingly probable the matter of who will be able lay him to sleep will go to court.  

After hearing from a judge that Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was ‘wicked’ and Thomas Hughes ‘pitiless,’ the court heard how he suffered horrific abuses during last year’s Covid lockdown.

Jurors learned that Tustin made violent gestures at the child, possibly hitting him against the corridor wall. He was under the care of Arthur in Cranmore Road.

She then callously took a photo of the unconscious youngster on her mobile phone – while he lay dying – and sent the image to Hughes. Tustin took 12 minutes before calling 999. Hughes was first called, then Tustin lied to police and medics that Arthur had fallen and banged his heads.

Six-year-old suffered from ‘unsurvivable brain damage’ and 130 injuries all over his body. Also, he had been severely tortured and poisoned by salt. He was forced to stand for 14 hours per day. 

Olivia LabinjoHalcrow, Arthur’s mother is currently in prison after she fatally stabbed her lover during a “drink- and drug-fuelled fury” in 2019. Arthur’s father Hughes met Tustin via the Plenty of Fish dating site and was soon in her clutches. The couple moved to Tustin’s house in March 2020. Arthur was then tortured, poisoned using salt and finally beaten.

It has now emerged that Labinjo-Halcrow and Hughes’s relatives are fighting each other for the right to bury Arthur, a source told the Mail last night – meaning the six-year-old’s body continues to lie in a hospital morgue.

Yesterday Tustin and Hughes were convicted of murder. Hughes was also found guilty of manslaughter for encouraging Tustin’s death by sending Tustin text messages 18 hours before his fatal attack in which he told her to “just end him”. The sentence will be handed down at Coventry Crown Court tomorrow.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, pictured with his ‘pitiless’ father Thomas Hughes. Hughes has been convicted of manslaughter after encouraging the killing by his actions

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, pictured with his ‘pitiless’ father Thomas Hughes. Hughes has been convicted of manslaughter after encouraging the killing by his actions

Arthur's maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told MailOnline that her grandson's body remains in the mortuary of Leicester Royal Infirmary - where the post-mortem was carried out 16-months ago - due to a legal dispute over who has the right to lay him to rest

Madeleine Halcrow (Arthur’s maternal grandmother) told MailOnline that Arthur’s body is still in Leicester Royal Infirmary. This was due to legal disputes over who the right to place him to rest.

Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, Arthur's birth mother

Emma Tustin, Arthur's stepmother

Olivia Labinjo.Halcrow is Arthur’s biological mother. She was convicted of stabbing her lover to death in a drunken, drug-fuelled attack in 2019. Her and Hughes’s relatives are fighting each other for the right to bury Arthur – meaning the six-year-old’s body continues to lie in a hospital morgue. Emma Tustin, Hughes’ stepmother was found guilty of the murder.

Jurors heard that Tustin violently shook the child and repeatedly banged his head, likely against the hallway wall, while in the sole care of Arthur at her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull on June 16, 2020. She then callously took a photo of the unconscious youngster on her mobile phone – while he lay dying – and sent the image to Hughes

Jurors learned that Tustin beat the child violently and banged his head against the wall. This was likely while he was in Arthur’s sole care at home in Cranmore Road. Solihull. She then callously took a photo of the unconscious youngster on her mobile phone – while he lay dying – and sent the image to Hughes

“I’ll take him off”: Two vile messages  

Mother’s Day 2020

Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin messaged her mother, referring to the little boy as a ‘nagging little s***’


Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes: ‘Kid is a selfish little c***. He’ll eat all of my food.

‘I’ll take his c****** head right off his shoulders.’

May 23, 2009

Hughes: Just take his jaw out


Hughes: “Kid’s ending when I return.”

Tustin: ‘He’s screaming at me again, little f*****.’

Hughes: “Let him hear this, I don’t want to play your games tonight. You can’t stay awake and be rude to anyone when I come back. You need to stop playing games with your attitude. You can either fall asleep on my way back, or you could watch the events unfold.

May 24, 2009

Tustin to Hughes: ‘Please hurry up I’ve had enough of the cheek, little t***’

May 30

Talk about separation in a text message

Tustin: Tell him that you won… Tustin says: ‘Tell him he’s won… I don’t want to be treated this way by him.

Hughes said, “It cannot be one or the other.” It has to be one or the other.

Tustin: ‘Cya.’

End of May

Tustin refers to Arthur as “malicious,” “cruel” and “just plain awful.”

Tustin refers to Arthur as a ‘cheeky little t***’ and ‘d*******’ before saying: ‘I’m going to chin this little c***.’

Hughes: “Kid’s ending when I get back” to which Tustin responds with an audio recording Arthur moaning.

Tustin said: “It’s still happening. It’s getting boring.’

June 12:

Hughes to Tustin

June 15, the day before the deadly assault

Hughes to Tustin : “Just gag him or some such thing.

“Tie a piece of rope around the mouth of your child with a socks or some other object.

Tustin said: “I’m going knock him out if [he] continues.”

Tustin: “Kida (sic), bit me for my last time.”

After the trial ended, Arthur’s grandmother Madeleine Halcrow gave a speech in tribute to her Labinjo/Hughes. 

She stated, “Following my son’s trial, I want to use his chance to reflect on Arthur’s life and celebrate the boy that I loved so deeply.”

“The details surrounding Arthur’s case were harrowing, but I wanted people to get to know Arthur from his big smile to his caring personality.

“All mothers have biases and think their children deserve the best. I don’t believe so. Arthur was smiley from the day he was born and was very curious.

“When I reflect on Arthur’s life, and the things he loved, there are three things I remember.

“First, he enjoyed reading or being read to. Julia Donaldson books were his favorite. The Gruffalo, the Snail and the Whale were his favorites.

“He started reading when he was a child and grew to love writing.

He would get excited every week about learning ten new words. Arthur was secondly a lover of food. Arthur was 10lbs and 6.5oz at birth. His love for milk quickly turned into his love for food.

As a child, he tried everything. He wanted to eat whatever was in front of him. He used to talk about lunch every day, then ask me what I would like for dinner.

Arthur was a lover of the great outdoors more than any other thing. He was an avid fan of football.

“By age four, Arthur could identify most, if not all of England’s teams and always had the latest Birmingham City kit. While I could go on for hours about Arthur’s love and his personality, everyone who loved Arthur has their story.

Talking about Arthur’s love would be incomplete without mentioning his obsession with superheroes. Arthur was a fan of Marvel and DC.

From Batman to Black Panther. Superman, Flash. Every costume and every action figure were his and he loved to pretend he had superpowers. 

“Arthur was the light in my life. He was more than just my child, but he was also my best friend.

“Never could I imagine that he would have been removed from this world at such an early stage of his life. Arthur asked for one thing last. That would be his superpower. Arthur was my hero, and his smile will be the one I remember most.  

Tustin claimed Arthur had fallen down the steps despite evidence that he was starving.

Prosecutors described Hughes and Tustin as “utterly ruthless,” unthinking, and pitiless in court.

Arthur died with 130 injuries to his body after being hit repeatedly, kicked, punched, punched, and otherwise beaten ‘over-and-over’.

Tustin also admitted child cruelty to Hughes, wilfully attacking the boy and isolating the boy in his home. He was required to stand for up 14 hours per day in the hallway.

Madeleine Halcrow Arthur’s maternal grandmother called the verdicts ‘wicked and evil’ after they were delivered.

The behavior of Tustin and the youngster, in which Tustin force-fed him salt-laced food, she described as ‘unfathomable’.

She said, “There is no word for them.

Now, an independent and serious review of the Solihull Council social worker’s actions has been initiated. The workers visited Arthur two months ago before his death. Joanne Hughes Hughes Hughes, Hughes’ mother had observed bruises on Arthur’s back. Arthur told Joanne how Tustin called Arthur an “ugly and horrible brat” and shoved him up the stairs. In April of this year, Hughes’ mother Joanne Hughes alerted the children’s social service to his bruises. This was just weeks before his tragic death. Two social workers, however, who visited Arthur on Cranmore Road had “no safeguarding concerns”.

Solihull Council’s Local Child Safeguarding Partnership has begun an independent investigation into the circumstances of this “terrible tragedy”, including Solihull Council’s response to it.

The heartbreaking photos show six year old Tustin laying down on the lounge floor alone for the night. Tustin used to drag the sheets off of the boy each morning in an attempt to get him up. 

The footage also showed the defendants tucking into takeaway food in the living room while ‘isolated’ Arthur was deprived of food and water and banished to the ‘thinking step’ at the foot of the staircase – his punishment for what they perceived to be his poor behaviour.

In a period of 26 hours, he was kept in cramped quarters for two days while the other defendants took ice creams to their rooms or soaked in hot tubs.

Tustin took 200 audio clips of the distressed boy and sent them to her partner. 

The Solihull home where Arthur was abused by Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes who have been convicted over his death

Arthur died at his Solihull home after being abused by Emma Tustin (and Thomas Hughes), who were both convicted.

Pictured: Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with father Thomas Hughes and Thomas' partner Emma Tustin. Emma Tustin has been convicted of murder and Thomas Hughes is guilty of manslaughter after a harrowing trial at Coventry Crown Court

Pictured are six-year-old Arthur Labinjo Hughes with Thomas Hughes and Emma Tustin, Thomas Hughes’ partner. After a long and difficult trial at Coventry Crown Court, Emma Tustin was convicted of murder. Thomas Hughes has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Pictured: Arthur’s mother Olivia is currently behind bars and describes her son’s assassination as “harrowing” and “incomparable.”

'Wicked' Tustin called 999 and told the operator Arthur had 'banged his head'. After police arrived at her home, the self-pitying stepmother cried and tried to convince the officers who attended the stick-thin boy had 'headbutted' her (pictured)

“Wicked Tustin” called 999, telling the operator Arthur had “banged his head”. The stepmother, a self-pitying victim of her own guilt, tried to persuade the police officers that the boy was ‘headbutting’ her.

Days before his death: Arthur attempts to pick up a duvet from the floor where he slept in video footage shown to jurors

Arthur tries to grab a duvet off the ground where he had slept days before his death in video footage that was shown to jurors

One clip showed Arthur crying while another one had him shouting, “Daddy’s going out the window!” Other clips showed Arthur crying out that ‘nobody loves’ him and that ‘no one will feed me.

Prosecutors claimed that Arthur’s systemic abuse, including the feeding of salt-laden foods, was consistent with the definition of child torture. At the very end, he couldn’t even drink a glass. On the day he died – June 16 – prosecutors believe Tustin shook and then slammed Arthur’s head on a hard surface, possibly after pushing him down the stairs, while alone with the boy.

Hughes, who was in the supermarket at that time, returned to his home just seven minutes following the attack. The pair then called the ambulance five more minutes later.

Jonas Hankin, the prosecutor, stated that the father, who was a ‘pitiless’ man, encouraged the murder in a call just three minutes after Arthur suffered his fatal head injuries. He had previously texted Tustin, asking her to fill him in, take his neck off, and get nasty. Jurors were also shown a picture of Arthur, dressed in Marvel Avengers pyjamas, slumped and crying by the front door – which Tustin admitted was ‘because he had no strength left in him’.

This was just minutes before he died of brain damage.

They either claimed Arthur was an unruly child whose injuries were self inflicted or they blamed one another.

Hughes gave evidence and admitted that he was besotted by Tustin. Tustin threatened to end their relationship if Arthur did not punish him.

The court heard Mr Hankin tell the court that it was impossible to excuse his actions, calling him ‘wicked and completely ruthless’ for wanting to hit Arthur “over and over again.”

Hughes removed his son’s favourite teddy bear, cut up his prized Birmingham City FC football shirts in front of him, and on another occasion duped the child into thinking he was going to see his grandparents – before turning the car around. According to the barrister, he was a malevolent. ‘He relished causing Arthur distress. This level of cruelty towards a son is beyond comprehension.

Tustin said that Arthur threatened to cut her throat with a knife while Tustin was telling jurors. This was part of an absurd defense in which Tustin claimed Arthur “threw himself” into doors and cupboards.

While on remand awaiting trial, Tustin told a cellmate that Arthur died when ‘the little f***er tried to get out the front door and I stopped him trying to follow his dad’.

On June 17, 2020 at 1 a.m., after being brutally attacked for the last time, the boy’s life-support machine was shut off.