A boy who was allegedly killed by his father and stepmother in a campaign of cruelty’ was found to have nearly 100 areas of injury, according to a court.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Arthur Labinjo Hughes, six, had dozens of bruises on his head and feet.

It is claimed that the boy was systematically abused, at least by Thomas Hughes, 29, as well as Emma Tustin (32), before being murdered in June 2013.

Prosecutors claim that Arthur suffered neglect and was subject to harm “designed to terrorise”. He was also denied food and forced to stand for long periods of time. The court also heard that Arthur was repeatedly poisoned by salt. 

The schoolboy died of ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ one day after being allegedly attacked at her home in Solihull, West Midlands by Tustin. Tustin, Hughes and others deny murder and multiple charges of child cruelty. 

Today, Arthur’s body was discovered to be covered with bruises at Coventry Crown Court. 

Matthew Lyle, Home Office pathologist, identified 93 injuries, including those to Arthur’s head and arms, legs, feet and torso. 

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (pictured above with his father), six, was found with dozens of bruises from his head to his feet, post-mortem examinations showed

Arthur Labinjo Hughes (pictured above with his father), six years old, was found with dozens bruises from his head down to his feet. Post-mortem examinations revealed that he had suffered multiple injuries. 

The boy was systematically abused by Thomas Hughes, 29, and his 32-year-old partner Emma Tustin (pictured above), it is alleged, before being killed in June last year.

It is claimed that the boy was repeatedly abused by Thomas Hughes (29), and Emma Tustin (32), before being murdered in June 2013.

Dr Lyle stated that some marks could be accidental or explained by medical intervention attempts made after Arthur collapsed. 

Jurors were informed that 25 areas of bruising on his scalp and neck raised serious concerns about non-accidental injuries. 

Dr Lyle testified before jurors, “I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a child with such severe injuries to the head or face, other than obvious traumatic situations.” 

The court heard that Arthur had 20 areas of bruising on his arms, and eight on the chest and stomach. He said that bruises on his upper arms were not an accident site. You will find multiple bruises around that area. 

“I think it’s possible they’ve caused by gripping. After his mother Olivia LabinjoHalcrow was accused of murdering Gary Cunningham in February 2019, Arthur was in Hughes’ full-time custody. 

Prosecutors claim that Hughes and Tustin subjected the youngster to months of cruelty, which was consistent with the “medical definition” of child torture. 

Arthur was allegedly kept’segregated’ and isolated in a hallway for more than 14 hours per day and was forced to sleep on a living-room floor. 

Tustin claimed that Arthur’s head injuries were self-inflicted in a 999 call 12 minutes after Arthur was unresponsive on June 16. She claimed that he had ‘banged on his head on all fours’ while lying on the ground. 

The court heard that Arthur’s legs had 19 areas of injury, including behind the knee and inside his thighs. Dr Lyle stated that he discovered a dozen areas of bruising on his back. 

When asked if six of Arthur’s injuries were within the guidelines for’reasonable discipline’, the pathologist said that he didn’t believe so. He stated that he believed the impression was of inflicted injury. 

The court heard how Arthur spent more than 14 hours a day 'segregated and isolated' in a hallway and was made to sleep on a living room floor

Arthur was allegedly kept’segregated’ and isolated in a hallway for more than 14 hours per day and was forced to sleep on a living-room floor. 

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

Jurors were previously told that Arthur (pictured), was’repeatedly poisoned’ with salt-contaminated foods and fluids in ‘brutal control circumstances’

Dr Lyle was asked about his overall assessment of the bruises. He stated that he had a general impression that this child had suffered an inflicted injury. These are inflicted injuries, as is the general pattern. 

‘When you look at this overall picture, you almost see more injuries in places you wouldn’t expect to see them than in places you would expect in a little girl. 

“That burden of bruising is very indicative of non-accidental injuries here. Prosecutors claim that Arthur was killed by Tustin and that Hughes ‘intentionally encouraged the killing. 

Both men claim to have neglected and abused Arthur. One recording was played in court: “No-one loves you.” 

Jurors were previously told that Arthur was’repeatedly poisoned’ with salt-contaminated foods and fluids in ‘brutal control circumstances’. 

Arthur measured 184 millimoles/litre (mmol/L), far more than the normal range 135-145 mmol/L. 

Jayaratnam Jayamohan (a children’s brain surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford) gave evidence and said: “I haven’t seen anyone with that salt level in all my life.” 

Jurors were previously informed by the juvenile that he was’repeatedly contaminated with salt-contaminated food, fluids, and other substances’ in ‘brutal control circumstances’. 

Dr Roger Malcomson stated that Arthur was likely poisoned by ‘persistence’ and told the court: “It is highly unlikely that Arthur poisoned hisself with salt.”

According to the paediatric pathologist, Arthur’s sodium levels (equivalent to six-and a-half teaspoons) could have affected Arthur’s ability to defend against an attack. 

The schoolboy died from 'unsurvivable brain injuries' a day after being allegedly attacked by Tustin at her home near Solihull, West Midlands

The schoolboy succumbed to ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ just one day after being allegedly assaulted by Tustin at her Solihull, West Midlands home.

Jurors were shown text messages between Hughes & Tustin describing their alleged abuse. Hughes threatened to rip his jaw off his shoulders and told Tustin: “Just gag him or some such thing.” Attach a rope to Hughes’ mouth and wrap a sock around it. 

One witness testified that Arthur couldn’t even hold a glass water in his mouth. They also claimed that Arthur’s clothes looked stained, his lips cracked, his mouth was unable to open, his hair was dirty and his nails were damaged. 

During the trial, medical experts agreed that Arthur died of brain injuries from being shaken and also sustained an impact injury. 

According to Daniel Du Plessis, consultant neuropathologist, the jury was told that forceful gripping took place and the head was struck against a firm surface. This is something I think an average woman would be able to do physically. 

Dr Du Plessis is a brain scan expert and said that Arthur’s chances of sustaining fatal head injuries are ‘inconceivable’. 

He stated, “There is no case where a child does that to themselves with a fatal result.”  

“This would have required very substantial force and would have caused quite a lot of pain.  

Opening the trial, Mr Hankin stated to jurors that both defendants had participated in a campaign for cruelty intended to cause Arthur significant suffering and harm. 

‘Violence was a common form of intimidation, verbal and physically. 

“Arthur’s visible injuries and his deplorable physical condition provided each defendant with a daily reminder about the extent to which the other would go in order to cause him harm.” 

The trial continues.