Child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will never been released from prison under proposals backed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Arthur’s Law” would send anyone who murders a child to jail indefinitely.
‘Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison, so we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes,’ Mr Johnson told The Sun.
A top MP warns that thousands upon thousands of “ghost children” are in danger of being mistreated after refusing to go back to school during lockdowns.
Robert Halfon was chairman of the Commons Education Committee. He stated that 100,000 students were “lost in this system” and thus vulnerable to cruelty back home.
Nadhim Zhawi Education Secretary confirmed the need for an investigation into Arthur’s failings.
Emma Tustin (the boy’s stepmother) was sentenced last week to at least 29-years in prison for the murder of her son, and Thomas Hughes (21) was sentenced for 21 years.
Boris Johnson would like child murderers such as the stepmother and father to tragic six-year old Arthur LabinjoHughes, never to be freed from prison
Robert Halfon, a senior MP warned that thousands of “ghost children” are in danger of being abused after they fail to go back to school during the lockdowns. Above: Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo Hughes was murdered
In court, it was revealed that Arthur was visited by social workers at the national lockdown two months before his suicide in Solihull in West Midlands in June. They concluded that there weren’t any safeguarding concerns and closed the case.
M. Halfon stated to MPs that there are 100,000 “ghost children”, who were lost in the system. He said they are susceptible to possible safeguarding hazards, county lines Gangs, online harm, as well as terrible domestic abuse.
Halfon asked Zahawi if he would make a real effort to partner with the local authorities. He also requested that he work with schools and regional commissioners in order to see to it that 100,000 of those children, who were not attending school regularly, are returned to school.
M. Zahawi responded, “It’s a concern and it’s a focal point for my department.”
According to Mr Halfon, MPs were told by him: “There are 100,000, what I refer to as the ghost children. They are people who are not in school and have not returned to school. These are vulnerable to safeguarding hazards and county lines gangs and online harm, and of course terrible domestic abuse.
Little Arthur can FINALLY be laid to rest: Killer father Thomas Hughes agrees to release six-year-old’s body for burial – 18 months after he was murdered, his lawyer says
MailOnline: Emer Scully
Arthur Labinjo Hughes is finally able to rest, after Thomas, the father of his six-year old son, released the boy’s body to burial 18 months later.
His lawyer said that the 29-year-old was previously passive but had wanted to provide a “tiny bit of peace” to Arthur’s mother Olivia LabinjoHalcrow.
Earlier this week Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told MailOnline 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.
This breakthrough came after the court heard that Arthur’s wicked stepmother Emma Tustin (and his pitiless father Thomas) subjected him during last year’s Covid lockdown to an awful campaign of abuse.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, pictured with his ‘pitiless’ father Thomas Hughes. Following his conviction for manslaughter he was sent to prison. The 29 year-old was previously considered ‘passive,’ but wanted to provide a tiny bit of comfort’ to Arthur and Olivia Labinjo Halcrow.
Emma Tustin (32), murdered Arthur repeatedly by repeatedly hitting his head against a hard surface. Hughes and she had starved Arthur and poisoned him using salt.
Jurors were told that Tustin (32), violently shaken the child, probably against the wall in the hall, in her Cranmore Road home, Solihull, on June 16, 2020.
Bernard Richmond QC, barrister for Hughes told Birmingham Live his client had wanted to leave the issue of Arthur’s remains to his and Ms Labinjo-Halcrow’s family to resolve – and only stepped in when they could not agree.
Arthur’s mother, Ms Labinjo Halcrow (her birth name), is currently in prison after she fatally stabbed her lover during a “drink- and drug-fuelled madness” in 2019. Arthur’s dad Hughes first met Tustin on the Plenty Of Fish dating website. He fell in love with her. The couple moved to Tustin’s house in March 2020. Arthur was then tortured, poisoned using salt and finally beaten.
A total of 130 injuries had been found on the six-year old’s body. Also, he had been tortured and poisoned by salt. He was forced to stand for 14 hours per day.
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.
Richmond stated that he spoke with him, and that this cannot continue. I was instructed by him to tell Arthur that his remains must be taken to his mother after the funeral. He must also have full control over his ashes.
“He really hopes that he will give Olivia even a little bit of peace.”
Meanwhile, Nadhim Zahawi today launched a review of how officials dealt with the case of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, as he said ‘no government can legislate for evil’ but ministers would ‘take action to stop it whenever we can’.
The Education Secretary said the review by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will scrutinise the world of Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnerships, while police and probation inspectors would carry out their own linked inspections.
Olivia LabinjoHalcrow, Arthur’s mother (left), is currently in prison after she fatally stabbed her lover during a “drink-and-drug-fuelled rage” in 2019.
After it was revealed in court that Arthur had been examined by social workers two months prior to his death and they determined there were no safeguarding concerns.
After being found guilty for her son’s murder, Tustin, the boy’s stepmother, was sent to Coventry Crown Court for a life sentence. Hughes received a 21-year sentence for manslaughter.
Mr Zahawi confirmed a review and targeted inspection will take place as part of efforts to assess why things went ‘horrifyingly wrong and what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again’.
According to him, MPs have been informed that the government has strengthened multi-agency cooperation since the tragic deaths of Peter Connelly and Daniel Pelka. This means the police, health and council officials in each area are now able to share the same duty to promote and protect the wellbeing of the children. Schools also play a part.
“I’m sure that members of the House will recognize that there have been improvements since previous reviews. But the real question is now whether this is sufficient.
Jurors learned that Tustin beat the child violently and repeatedly banged against his head. 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
Mr Zahawi, on the targeted area inspection jointly by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Probation, said: ‘This will mean we can truly look at where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting children in the Solihull area, so that we can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes.’
According to the minister, the review would examine whether social workers should be able to ‘work directly in families’ and not merely ‘behind desks’.
He added: ‘Sunlight is the best possible disinfectant, because if we are to improve services we must share data and evidence.
Arthur died from the cruelties of his father, and of his partner.
“No world government can legislate against evil. But we will do everything we can to prevent it from happening.
‘We must do more. Anyone suspecting child abuse should contact their local authority.
You can report any worries or trouble you see.
Boris Johnson spoke Friday at a Shropshire campaign visit and promised to make ‘absolutely every effort’ to find the root cause of any problems.
He stated that it was important to be able to draw lessons from the experience and determine what could have been done in order to safeguard the child.
Responding to Mr Zahawi, Labour said the government had ‘tolerated failure’ in children’s services across the country and this must end.
Bridget Phillipson, shadow education secretary, told the Commons that failure should not be accepted as a result of any public service. Protecting children is a prime example of this.
“For too long, the Government tolerated failures in children’s services and an inability to protect them.
“Vulnerable children suffer from failure and this cannot continue. It is now up to the Secretary of state to explain how he will tackle this culture.
“He faces that challenge and this is his standard.
Nadhim Zhawi, Education Secretary, replied to the question: “She talked about a long journey and I would recognize that there are many challenges. But it is worth praise the team at the department as well as in the local government.
His reference was to Ofsted’s improved inspections of local governments in England in the last one year. From 37 percent to fifty percent being good in England, it has risen to 50 percent.
A large number of people gathered in front Tustin’s old address, where Arthur was murdered, on Sunday afternoon to release balloons and to lay flowers as a tribute.
People clapped and cheered as balloons flew into the skies. One string of letters read “Arthur” while other posters and drawings were placed on the property. This was a poignant tribute to the six year-old.
Saturday’s confirmation by the Attorney General’s Office, (AGO), that Hughes’ and Tustin’s sentences will be reviewed was made.
AGO has 28-days from date of sentencing to review the case and determine if it is covered under Unduly Lenient Sentence. If so, they can make a recommendation as to whether or not to remand the sentence to Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal will then rule on the cases that have been referred.
A spokesperson from the AGO stated that: “The Attorney General’s thoughts and prayers are with Arthur’s family.
‘I can confirm that Emma Tustin’s sentence and Thomas Hughes’s sentences have been reviewed by the Attorney General in order to find out if they were excessively low.
Arthur in Solihull, where he was victim to Tustin’s abuse and Hughes’s cruelty in 2020
Pictured are Arthur (6 years old) and his father Hughes (and Tustin).
According to an NSPCC spokesperson, “We are united in our determination that every stone must be taken when establishing the facts about Arthur’s death and what more can have been done for his protection and eventual rescue.”
“This must be an important moment when we all ask hard questions about the things we can do to ensure that children are safe at home, work, and abroad.
“We are pleased to announce a national review on Arthur’s tragic death, and an inspection of the partnership work arrangements. These findings must be implemented by the Government.
“Everyone can play a part in keeping our children safe. We need political leadership at a national level – including addressing the significant shortfall facing children’s services. Effective multi-agency intervention is needed at the local level to address concerns about abuse.
Susanna Reid charges the leader of social workers with trying to shift blame for Arthur’s death. She suggested that Arthur’s grandmother ought to have done more in reporting his unusual bruising, even though she did tell social workers.
Susanna Reid said she was’shocked’ after being accused of accusing a child safety expert of blaming her. Arthur Labinjo Hughes’s grandmother was responsible for telling social workers and medics that he had bruising around his back.
Wendy Thorogood (chair of the Association of Child Protection Professionals) stated that referrals to medical professionals could provide a faster response to injuries than simply telling social workers.
Joanne Hughes took photographs of Arthur’s bruises and referred him to Solihull Council. The bruises on Arthur’s shoulder were discovered by social workers who visited him the following day.
He was ultimately killed by Emma Tustin (32) and Thomas Hughes (29) who tortured and abused him for ‘unimaginable’ reasons.
Joanne Hughes (Arctic’s grandmother) took photographs of Arthur’s bruises and referred it to Solihull Council
Wendy Thorogood (chair of the Association of Child Protection Professionals) stated that referring injuries to doctors could result in a quicker response than simply telling social workers. Susanna Reid was left’stunned.
Susanna Reid, Good Morning Britain’s host, said that she was stunned by Ms. Hughes suggesting they could do more.
She responded, “I’m sorry.
If you want to be treated as the grandmother, [Ms Hughes]It all comes down to ”…’
Ms. Thorogood replied, “I don’t think it’s down the grandmother. I just said at that time in the child’s life the doctor could have assessed him.” Ms. Thorogood replied: “I’m not saying it’s down to the grandmother, but I am saying that it would have prevented any delay.”
Martin Lewis was Martin’s host and Ms. Reid invited Ms. Thorogood as a guest to talk about Arthur and what social services could do differently.
Herr Lewis asked her the following question.
Ms. Thorogood said, “I think that we must believe that it’s possible to make a change, but that 70 or more children may die each year. We’re still learning lessons, and this has been going on for many decades and is something that we continue to address.”
Ms Reid then added her voice and asked: “I want you to ask me, because there were many opportunities to save Arthur. It would be false to say that Arthur’s crimes went unpunished because Arthur’s grandparents raised concerns, Arthur’s uncle raised concerns, social services visited. How do I notify social services if my grandparent is concerned?
Ms Thorogood responded, “As professionals, they should be trained in order to recognize where there is manipulation.”
“Just one, I want you to notice the bruising. It was clearly shared with social services and the photograph was shared to police. I don’t criticize her actions in any way, but it would have been nice if that child was actually there to seek medical assistance.
“Because it’s possible at this moment to snap a picture, that’s evidence. But health workers can also be part of the system and could have initiated a multi-system assessment faster.
Ms Reid asked Ms. Thorogood: “When you say she’re you talking about the social workers?” Ms. Thorogood responded, “The grandmother.” If she took the photo, my request to anyone concerned about a child who has visible bruises is that they seek medical attention.
The confused Ms Reid replied: “I am so sorry to interrupt your conversation, but she visited social services. Are you saying social services could not intervene and it was up to the grandmother to seek additional help?”
Ms. Thorogood responded: “It would trigger an Intervention, it triggered a point for a social worker to go out but it’s the issue of delay and severity when that was done and I wouldn’t disparage anybody who made a referral.
Ms Reid replied, “I don’t understand why your suggesting that the grandmother should’ve done more,”
Ms Thorogood said she wasn’t trying to blame Arthur’s grandmother. She was giving tips for people who might be in similar situations.
Wendy swiftly responded, “I don’t think the grandmother could do more. But, I want to stress, I can’t say that the grandmother should have done anything less. I just said for the future that if you see any unusual bruises, get medical attention as well as share that information with the social services as it would set off the process.
“I’m sorry. I’m just shocked,” Ms Reid, mother of three said. “Because, I would think once you called social services, they are the ones who trigger it, and they have the responsibility. They also hold the legal power.
And if you believe the grandmother is telling you, “actually, it’s up to you ‘…’.”
“I did not say that it was down to the grandmother. I am saying that at the moment the child could be medically,” Ms Thorogood replied. “My words may be slightly twist, but that’s what I meant. It would have prevented delays.