Arthur Labinjo Hughes’ uncle stated today to a court that the stepmother of the boy was ‘cold, calculating’ and “domineering” and was the one responsible for the murder.

It is claimed that the six year-old boy, Solihull, West Midlands, died after suffering abuse designed to terrorise him.  

According to reports, the youngster was starved and forced to sit in a corridor for fourteen hours each day. He then received salt poisoning before being attacked in his own home.

Thomas Hughes, 29 and Emma Tustin 32, are accused of subjecting Arthur to “systematic, cruel behavior” that was consistent with the medical definition of child abuse.

Hughes and Tustin denied murder. Tustin admitted to one count child cruelty, but denied three others. Hughes denied four child cruelty charges.

Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was weakened by months of abuse, salt poisoning and starvation, prosecutors claim (pictured with father Thomas)

Prosecutors claim that Arthur Labinjo Hughes, six years old, was damaged by salt poisoning, starvation and months of abuse. (pictured with his father Thomas).

The distressing footage was shown to jurors at Coventry Crown Court on Tuesday, where Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin (pictured), 32, are accused of killing Arthur at their home in Solihull, West Midlands, last June.

On Tuesday, jurors in Coventry Crown Court were shown the disturbing footage. Emma Tustin, 32 and Thomas Hughes, 29 are both accused of murdering Arthur in Solihull (West Midlands), last June.

Today, Andrew Hughes (brother of Thomas Hughes) gave evidence at Coventry Crown Court.

According to him, Tustin was his ‘controlling partner’ and the catalyst’ for Arthur’s demise.

The 26-year old Mr Hughes described Mrs. Hughes as “domineering” towards Hughes and Arthur.

Jurors were told by him that if she couldn’t have things her way, it would be a problem for all.

Tustin cared for Arthur Schoolboy, and Arthur succumbed to ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ in June.

Arthur was allegedly killed by her using’very serious force’ when she was in Solihull alone at her council home.

Hughes is accused of having ‘intentionally encouraged the murder’. Arthur is said to be subject to violence and intimidation by Hughes in “brutal controlling circumstances”.

He was allegedly poisoned by so much salt, that doctors questioned the machinery of his hospital room when he died from brain damage.

The jury was told by Hughes that Arthur had lived with Hughes for the entirety of his life after Olivia LabinjoHalcrow, her mother, was charged in February 2019 with killing Gary Cunningham.

Hughes and Tustin met on an August 2019 online dating site.

Hughes testified that he believed the couple moved too quickly because they didn’t get to know one another well enough.

Hughes described his first encounter with Tustin as: “I tried being friendly, I tried introducing myself, and I tried having a good time.

She was very, very cold. I received very little from her.

Hughes and Arthur moved into Tustin’s Cranmore Road council house, Shirley when the country was in lockdown.

Arthur, according to some reports, was forced to stand for as long as possible in a hallway for 14 hours each day. This could have been for up to six consecutive weeks.

A video of a boy sleeping on a sofa and making a bed was played to the jury.

Tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, attempts to pick up duvet from floor where he slept in CCTV footage shown to Coventry Crown Court on Tuesday

Six-year-old tragic Arthur Labinjo Hughes attempts to grab duvet from the floor where he had slept. This was captured in CCTV footage that Coventry Crown Court showed on Tuesday

Jurors were previously told how Arthur (pictured) was 'repeatedly poisoned with salt-contaminated food and fluids' in 'brutal controlling circumstances'

The jury was previously informed that Arthur (pictured) had been repeatedly poisoned by salt-contaminated foods and fluids in “brutal controlling circumstances”.

According to the jury, Arthur’s family had raised concerns about social services in two months prior to Arthur’s death. After a home inspection, no further actions were taken.

Hughes stated to the court Arthur appeared ‘far less timid’ than he had seen him last week, one week before his lockdown.

The jurors heard him say:[Arthur]He seemed to be more conscious of the possibility that he might get into trouble.

Arthur used to make this sound, which he called his baby voice.

It was an unresolved issue before Miss Tustin came on board.

He shared how Hughes was “very open and very warm” before meeting Tustin, and believed in the family unit.

He stated that Tom’s behavior and mood had changed significantly over the course of their relationship.

“We’d argue more about minute, mundane things.”

Bernard Richmond, Hughes’ barrister asked Hughes how Hughes looked after meeting Tustin. Hughes replied that Hughes went in himself with his family, his parents and his brothers.

“The ties were weaker and weaker over time, and he seemed less invested in maintaining that structure.

Arthur died of unsurvivable brain injury on June 16, 2020. He was found with 125 areas bruising all over his body.

It was claimed that the boy was denied water and food, and had to be deprived of basic comforts.

Prosecutors allege that Tustin, while alone with Arthur, shook then struck Arthur’s head against a hard surface.

According to her, the child died of self-inflicted injuries. This theory was rejected by doctors.

Hughes is accused of having ‘intentionally encouraged the murder’.

Text messages sent to Tustin included remarks by Hughes to ‘fill him in’, ‘take his neck off his c***ing shoulders’ and ‘get nasty’.

Jurors also heard that Tustin should be ‘given away’ or ‘put him out of the garbage’.

Hughes sent Tustin a message 18 hours before Arthur was accused of murder.

Arthur, according to one witness in court, was too weak to hold onto a glass water bottle the day before his collapse.

Also, they said that his clothes and lips looked shabby, his lips had cracked, and that he was unable to open his mouth. They added that his hair and nails looked dirty. He looked tired, malnourished and gaunt.

An earlier part of the trial saw a medical specialist stating that Arthur had been shaken by being slammed hard with’very serious’ force.

Daniel Du Plessis, neuropathologist and consultant to Arthur said it was impossible for Arthur to sustain severe head injuries.

In opening statements, Mr Hankin stated to jurors that both defendants had participated in an act of cruelty aimed at causing Arthur severe pain and harm.

“Violence, intimidation (both verbal and physical) were a routine part of daily life.

“Arthur’s obvious injuries, his poor physical condition, and apparent despair served as a reminder to each defendant of how far the other will go to do him harm.

The trial is continuing.