Emma Tustin, who allegedly fatally shook and hit six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, leaving him with an 'unsurvivable' brain injury, was branded 'pitiless and cruel' by prosecutors at Coventry Crown Court on Friday

Prosecutors at Coventry Crown Court branded Emma Tustin ‘pitiless’ and ‘cruel’ for allegedly hitting six-year old Arthur Labinjo–Hughes with a shook-and-struck weapon that killed him. 

According to court records, the woman charged with murdering her stepson aged six years old in a gruesome ‘campaign for cruelty’ viewed the boy as an obstacle in her love life.

Emma Tustin (32) ‘enjoyed’ little Arthur Labinjohughes suffering before inflicting fatal head injuries. A jury at Coventry Crown Court heard Friday that she had shook and blasted his head against hard surfaces. 

Cross-examination revealed that the mother of four, Thomas Hughes (29), and her partner were being tried for murder and child cruelty. She was called ‘pitiless and utterly repentant’. 

According to reports, the youngster was starved, forced to sit in a corridor for fourteen hours each day, and then poisoned with salt. He died at home in Solihull in West Midlands in June 2013.

Tustin confessed to court that he couldn’t bear Arthur’s abuse. He didn’t even think about the hurt he felt.

Tustin claimed that Arthur was cruelly made to stand for 14 hours per day by Tustin. She was adhering to Hughes’s guidelines and didn’t realize how terrible things could be.

But after playing footage of Arthur putting himself to bed on a living room floor, having been forced to stand up all day, Prosecutor Jonas Hankin, QC, put to her: ‘You knew that this was a nightly occurrence. 

“A boy, aged 12-14 hours, laying on concrete floors with no underlay. He finally went to sleep.

He said, “You were happy to make him suffer. Therefore you would do whatever was necessary to increase his suffering.” Tustin denies the allegation.

It was unacceptable to have Arthur sit up or lie down all day. She also admitted that it was hard for her to bear to watch Arthur’s anguish.

“I simply put him aside. “I didn’t even think about the hurt he felt or his feelings.

Tustin said that she was willing to plead guilty to the second count. She added that it was harrowing how he was treated by her.

Hankin said to Tustin: “You are completely remorseless for all you have done to Arthur.Tustin answered: “No, I’m not.”

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”.

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 his hallway for more than 14 hours per day and forced to sleep on the living room floor. 

Prosecutors accused Tustin of making Arthur feel ‘worse that a prisoner.

In cross-examination, Mr Hankin said to her: “You’re a cruel and pitiless woman. You hate Arthur. And you treat him like a small boy.”

He was only an obstacle between you and your partner, Tom Hughes. 

“That was what you considered most important, didn’t you?Tustin responded: “No.

Arthur, who had been suffering from abuses that met “the medical definitions of child torture”, died at Tustin’s hospital.

Hughes and Tustin both denied murder. Tustin admits one count of child cruelty. Hughes denies the other three. Hughes denies all four charges of child cruelty.

Arthur was in Hughes’s full-time care after Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, his mother, was accused in February 2019 of murdering Gary Cunningham.

He was killed after he moved into Tustin’s council home in Cranmore Road (Shirley) during last March’s pandemic lockdown.

According to the prosecution, Tustin shaken and then hit Arthur’s head against a hard surface when he was alone.

Elle denies the crime and asserts that the boy died of self-inflicted injury. This account is refuted by medical professionals.

Tustin may have snapped a picture of Arthur while he was dying, and then waited 12 more minutes until ringing the 999 button.

It is believed that she has recorded 200 audio files of her stepson while he was in distress.

The trial had heard earlier that Arthur suffered from severe poisoning due to so much salt, that doctors took a look at their equipment when Arthur was hospitalized with brain injury fatalities on June 16, last year.

Experts suggested that he had been given 34g of salt, equivalent to 6 teaspoons. This led to readings in the hospital which were “off-the-scale”.

A camera clip of Tustin holding a bottle salt was shown to jurors the day before Arthur’s collapse.

Hughes, too, denies Arthur’s poisoning.

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

One day after being attacked by Tustin in her Solihull home, West Midlands, schoolboy was declared dead from “unsurvivable head injuries”.

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, six (pictured below with his father), was found in a slew of bruises on his body, as post-mortem examinations revealed. 

A medical expert stated earlier in the trial that he thought Arthur had been shaken and was slammed with “very severe” force.

Daniel Du Plessis, a neuropathologist consultant, said that Arthur could sustain fatal head injuries.

One witness testified that Arthur couldn’t even get a glass water in his mouth the day before he fell.

He also claimed that his clothes looked dirty and his lips were cracked.

Tustin apologised over text messages she sent to Hughes where she called Arthur ‘Satan’ and a ‘nagging little s***’.

Hughes warned Tustin that he would ‘take his jaw from his shoulders’ in one message. Attach a rope to Hughes’ mouth and wrap a socks around it.

They were not followed.

A jury had been informed that Arthur’s relatives raised concerns with the social services about two months before Arthur died. However, after an in-home visit, the jury did not take any further action.

Opening the trial, Mr Hankin said to jurors: “Both defendants participated a campaign for cruelty meant to cause Arthur considerable harm and suffering.

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

“Arthur’s apparent injuries, his deplorable physical state and evident despair gave each defendant a daily reminder about the extent to which they would do anything to inflict harm.”

The trial is continuing.