Abused kids ‘slipped from view’ over lockdown, senior figures mentioned in the present day – as social staff, police and academics confronted damning questions over missed alternatives that left an ‘evil’ couple free to kill six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. 

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, and stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, had been yesterday convicted of killing him below the quilt of the primary nationwide Covid lockdown. Tustin poisoned the as soon as ‘chubby, pleased’ boy with salt whereas Hughes inflicted ‘stress level’ torture strategies as they made him stand on his personal for as much as 14 hours a day.

A day earlier than Arthur died of ‘unsurvivable’ head accidents inflicted by Tustin, the court docket heard he had been rendered ‘too weak’ even to carry a glass of water to his mouth. Jurors had been instructed that the 130 areas of bruising discovered on the little boy’s physique after his loss of life equated to ‘practically a bruise for daily of lockdown’. 

Solihull’s £122,294 Director of Kids’s Providers on the time of Arthur’s homicide, Louise Rees, left in August earlier than the trial started. Her LinkedIn profile boasts that she is now ‘retired and loving it’. As we speak it emerged the 60-year-old took up the put up at Solihull in March 2019 – simply weeks after inspectors discovered ‘widespread and critical failings’ throughout the kids’s providers division of Stoke on Trent Metropolis Council, the place she was the £140,000 director. 

The authorities failed to save lots of helpless Arthur from a relentless marketing campaign of torture and each bodily and psychological torture. After involved relations instructed the council about bruises on the teenager’s again, social employee Jayne Kavanagh and help employee Angela Scarlett-Coppage visited Tustin’s house however reported ‘no considerations’. 

Anne Longfield, England’s former kids’s commissioner, mentioned that very weak kids ‘have continued to slide from view’, and that she is ‘heartbroken’ and ‘sickened’ by Arthur’s killing. 

She instructed BBC Radio 4’s As we speak programme: ‘For anybody who appears on the critical case opinions, or hears about them, that come after a baby’s loss of life, you will note the identical issues arising time and time once more – missed alternatives, lack of co-ordination, lack of data-sharing – the issues that professionals must have at hand to have the ability to defend these kids, which nonetheless aren’t in place.’ 

Former kids’s minister Tim Loughton mentioned Covid restrictions had ‘exacerbated’ the kid abuse disaster. ‘There’s so many issues right here – there’s an actual sense of déjà vu,’ he As we speak. ‘I believe one of many issues is we have barely taken our eyes off the ball. 

‘Instances similar to this may need been detected higher at college or outdoors, it was all happening behind closed doorways. This noticed a extremely manipulative, sadistic guardian and step-mother pull the wool over the eyes of the social staff. However that should not be an excuse… the system that has failed to guard this youngster.’  

Emma Tustin, 32

Thomas Hughes

Emma Tustin, 32, (left) killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes by slamming his head on a tough floor after she and 29-year-old Thomas Hughes (proper) subjected him to months of torture which included ravenous him and poisoning him with salt

Arthur was beaten to death by 32-year-old Tustin following months of abuse by her and his father Thomas Hughes. His trial hear how relatives repeatedly raised concerns with social services and police but were rebuffed

Arthur was overwhelmed to loss of life by 32-year-old Tustin following months of abuse by her and his father Thomas Hughes. His trial hear how relations repeatedly raised considerations with social providers and police however had been rebuffed 

Solihull's £122,294 Director of Children's Services at the time of Arthur's death, Louise Rees

Ms Rees

Solihull’s £122,294 Director of Kids’s Providers on the time of Arthur’s loss of life, Louise Rees, 60, (pictured) left in August earlier than the trial started

The case, one of many worst examples of kid abuse in British historical past, raises critical questions in regards to the actions of social staff, police and the boy’s academics. The alternatives missed to save lots of him included:

  • Social staff had been despatched out to analyze bruising on Arthur reported by his grandmother however concluded there have been ‘no safeguarding considerations’;
  • Arthur’s uncle despatched police images of the bruising however no motion was taken as a result of social providers had been already concerned – and officers warned the household they could possibly be arrested in the event that they continued attempting to go to Hughes;
  • A instructing assistant who carried out welfare checks on Arthur – by phone – was fobbed off with claims that he had been having fun with enjoying within the backyard;
  • When Arthur’s college reopened after lockdown per week earlier than his loss of life, no motion was taken when he didn’t attend;
  • Tustin and Hughes’s former next-door neighbours and Tustin’s stepfather additionally mentioned they made referrals to social providers after fearing for Arthur’s security.

Social staff wished to be nameless once they gave proof to the court docket, it may be revealed.

Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, of Birmingham, mentioned she emailed photos of Arthur’s bruising to Solihull council in April final 12 months. She mentioned: ‘I’ve a background in nursing so I knew these had been non-accidental accidents and I instructed them as a lot.’

However she mentioned that when she adopted up with the police to seek out out what had been executed, she was instructed Tustin’s home had appeared clear and tidy. ‘I requested them: ‘So simply because a home is tidy it doesn’t suggest abuse is not going down?’ Social providers failed Arthur – they will need to have seen how unwell he was. It was simply weeks earlier than he died.’

Solihull’s Native Safeguarding Kids Partnership is finishing up an impartial evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the ‘horrible tragedy’, together with the actions of Solihull council’s social providers.

The Impartial Workplace for Police Conduct mentioned it had ‘carried out and concluded’ an investigation into West Midlands Police’s involvement and would publish its report in the end.

Following the supply of verdicts after greater than six hours of deliberation, Coventry Crown Court docket stood for a minute’s silence in reminiscence of Arthur on the jury’s request. The 11-strong panel mentioned Arthur’s ‘battle had touched our hearts’.

Hughes and his son moved into Tustin’s council home on the eve of the March 2020 lockdown – seven months after the defendants met on a relationship web site.

However inside weeks of transferring in, the beforehand pleased schoolboy regarded ‘damaged’.

The couple could be damned by Tustin’s own residence safety cameras, which captured a lot of the abuse.

'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 'hit' her (pictured)

‘Depraved’ Tustin referred to as 999 and instructed the operator Arthur had ‘banged his head’. After police arrived at her house, the self-pitying stepmother cried and tried to persuade the officers who attended the stick-thin boy had ‘hit’ her (pictured)

Sick Tustin fetched her mobile phone immediately after she beat Arthur to take a photograph of the youngster (pictured, with his father Hughes) as he lay dying in the hallway of her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull, West Midlands, in June last year

Sick Tustin fetched her cell phone instantly after she beat Arthur to take {a photograph} of the teenager (pictured, along with his father Hughes) as he lay dying within the hallway of her house in Cranmore Street, Solihull, West Midlands, in June final 12 months

This image was taken by Arthur's grandmother Joanne Hughes as part of a desperate attempt to convince the authorities he was in danger

This picture was taken by Arthur’s grandmother Joanne Hughes as a part of a determined try to persuade the authorities he was at risk

Tustin attacked Arthur for the ultimate time on June 16 final 12 months, the day earlier than her thirty first birthday, in between making preparations with a celebration organiser who was offering her with celebratory balloons.

Prosecutors mentioned she shook after which repeatedly slammed Arthur’s head on a tough floor whereas alone with the boy.

Nikki Holmes, founding father of the Safer Collectively youngster safety consultancy, mentioned Arthur’s case confirmed how lockdown had ‘ramped up the danger in some households’ and left the professionals coping with such households with ‘restricted oversight’.

She added: ‘Lockdown made it tougher to identify when issues had been going improper. An examination is required of the broader system dealing with instances similar to this.’

Hughes, of Solihull, was cleared of homicide however convicted of manslaughter and two counts of kid cruelty. Tustin, of Solihull, was convicted of homicide and 4 counts of kid cruelty. They are going to be sentenced in the present day.

Mrs Halcrow, who sobbed in the course of the minute’s silence, described the defendants as ‘evil’ and ‘chilly, calculating, systematic torturers of a defenceless little boy’.

Stepmother who tortured and murdered Arthur ‘had no maternal intuition by any means, wished kids for the eye they introduced – and the kid profit’: Her ex provides a disturbing perception as social staff face damning questions 

By Andy Dolan and Tom Rawstorne for Day by day Mail  

Arriving on the house of Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, social staff had been greeted by a ‘playful and boisterous’ six-year-old, his cheeks flushed from working round within the backyard.

As for the extreme bruising on Arthur’s left shoulder that had prompted his nervous grandmother to name within the authorities, all they later recalled seeing was a faint mark.

And, anyway, any lingering considerations had been calmed once they quizzed Arthur in regards to the harm. He and one in every of Tustin’s different sons claimed it had been attributable to a play-fight with boxing gloves.

For the social staff, that was adequate. They concluded it was a ‘pleased family’ the place everybody acquired on effectively. Case successfully closed.

Lower than two months later, Arthur was lifeless, having suffered an ‘unsurvivable’ trauma to his head. A complete of 130 accidents, each outdated and new, had been discovered throughout his physique. He had additionally been tortured, poisoned with salt and compelled to face on his personal for as much as 14 hours a day.

A cheerful family? Extra like hellish.

The obvious failures of the authorities to safeguard this little boy had been quite a few and stunning. His college, the police and social staff all had alternatives to intervene.

Why they didn’t will kind the premise of a number of investigations. And at their coronary heart can be their interactions with one particular person. Not Arthur, however with Emma Tustin, his stand-in mum.

An artist's impression of Tustin and Hughes in court not long before they were convicted of killing him yesterday

An artist’s impression of Tustin and Hughes in court docket not lengthy earlier than they had been convicted of killing him yesterday

Handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Arthur

Handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Arthur

Handout images issued by West Midlands Police of Arthur. The obvious failures of the authorities to safeguard this little boy had been quite a few and stunning. His college, the police and social staff all had alternatives to intervene

As a result of it was she who coached Arthur to misinform the social staff about the reason for his harm. And it was she who had ensnared his father in a twisted, poisonous relationship during which the pair had utterly misplaced their ‘ethical compass’.

That’s not to say Hughes is just not additionally in charge. However what has emerged is that he was removed from the primary man to fall foul of Tustin. In court docket the 32-year-old was described as a ‘ruthless predator’. She noticed Arthur as her prey as a result of she wished one thing he had – his dad.

Talking completely to the Day by day Mail, the daddy of one in every of Tustin’s 4 personal kids makes use of the same description. ‘She’s a black widow,’ he mentioned. ‘She sucks the life out of every man she will get along with.’

The person, who requested to not be named, added: ‘She had no maternal intuition by any means. She wished kids for the eye they introduced her as newborns, and for the kid profit. However as soon as the eye died away and she or he was left at house with a child, she did not need to know.’

Cash meant for the kids was spent on tattoos, clothes, jewelry and the newest smartphones for herself. As for the authorities, she was an outdated hand at coping with them. Forward of visits the house could be tidied and toys introduced out for the children.

When the ex-partner and his household alerted social staff to Tustin, she merely ‘turned on the water works’, inflicting accidents on herself and accusing him of beating her and the kids as a substitute.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Pictured: Arthur’s mom Olivia, who’s at the moment in jail, described her son’s homicide as ‘harrowing and incomparable’

A handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Arthur. With schools closed, welfare checks by Arthur’s teachers amounted only to calls, then texts and emails – exchanges in which Hughes claimed Arthur was ‘grand’

A handout picture issued by West Midlands Police of Arthur. With faculties closed, welfare checks by Arthur’s academics amounted solely to calls, then texts and emails – exchanges during which Hughes claimed Arthur was ‘grand’

‘Social providers have blood on their arms,’ he mentioned. ‘If that they had heeded our warnings then little Arthur may nonetheless be alive. Sadly, when it comes to youngster welfare and social providers, it’s a lady’s world. The person is rarely believed.’

Following the delivery of their youngster, Tustin threw herself out of the bed room window – breaking her leg – to cease her associate going out along with his greatest good friend to moist the infant’s head.

‘I could not inform social providers about it as a result of I used to be nervous they’d take the infant away’, he mentioned. ‘She was unhinged.’ When one other lover left her eight years in the past, she jumped off the highest flooring of a multi-storey automotive park close to her house within the West Midlands.

She spent 5 months in hospital with a shattered pelvis, fractured cranium, backbone and ankle. ‘She’s very manipulative and it is easy to finish up below her spell,’ the person mentioned. ‘Fortunately I got here to my senses.’

Tragically, Arthur Labinjo-Hughes discovered himself in a state of affairs over which he had no management – the ultimate misfortune in a life marked by misfortune. However it might have been so totally different.

His privately educated delivery mom, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, had the world at her ft. A former Solihull College pupil, the place sixth kind charges at the moment value £14,600 a 12 months, she was a proficient debater and eager cadet who went on to turn into a lance corporal within the Territorial Military.

Social workers were called two months prior to Arthur's death after concerns were raised but no further action was taken

Social staff had been referred to as two months previous to Arthur’s loss of life after considerations had been raised however no additional motion was taken 

Hughes met mother-of-four Tustin (pictured) online before the couple moved with Arthur into her home near Solihull

 Hughes met mother-of-four Tustin (pictured) on-line earlier than the couple moved with Arthur into her house close to Solihull

However whereas learning philosophy, politics and economics on the College of Nottingham, she met Thomas Hughes by means of Fb, and dropped out in her closing 12 months when she grew to become pregnant with Arthur.

The daddy-to-be was hardly a catch. After leaving college on the first alternative, he grew to become a Saturday morning soccer coach earlier than working as a plasterer after which a builder’s labourer. By the point Arthur was a toddler, his mom’s life had descended right into a world of drink and medicines as she struggled with declining psychological well being.

She started two-timing Hughes, however the brand new relationship was risky and violent and in February 2019 – in a ‘drink and drug-fuelled rage’ – she fatally stabbed her new lover. Her arrest and jailing for manslaughter meant Arthur discovered himself within the full-time care of Hughes, who’s now 29.

He and his son moved into an annexe of his dad and mom’ house in Solihull. Hughes’s mom Joanne is a secondary college trainer.

However in August 2019 the fuse was lit when Hughes met Tustin by means of the Loads of Fish relationship web site, shortly falling into her thrall. The court docket heard Tustin had left college with no {qualifications} and by no means labored.

On the age of 14 she was reprimanded over a brawl with one other woman and on the age of 16 was cautioned for shoplifting. A 12 months later she had her first youngster. Her second arrived two years after that. She would go on to have 4 kids with three totally different males.

Arthur's biological mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 29

She killed her partner Gary Cunningham by stabbing him 12 times with a kitchen knife in a drunken rage in February 2019

Arthur’s organic mom, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 29, (pictured left) killed her associate Gary Cunningham (proper) by stabbing him 12 occasions with a kitchen knife in a drunken rage in February 2019 and is at the moment serving an 11 12 months jail sentence

After she jumped from the automotive park, the 2 older kids went to reside with their fathers. When the 2 youthful kids had been born, they stayed together with her and Arthur, however had common contact with their dad. The daddy who spoke with the Mail mentioned every relationship adopted a sample. ‘She will get pregnant in a short time after beginning a relationship as a result of it provides her a level of management over the person,’ he mentioned. ‘Then she isolates him from his family and friends.

‘From what I’ve learn of the court docket case, she appears to have executed this to Hughes too.’

Certainly she did.

Hughes and his son moved in to Tustin’s council home in Cranmore Street, Shirley, when the nation entered lockdown in March 2020. She shortly fell pregnant – later aborting her unborn child at 21 weeks when in custody.

Kin observed that each Hughes and his son’s behaviour quickly modified.

‘Arthur used to return to stick with me,’ Madeleine Halcrow, the boy’s maternal grandmother, instructed the Mail. ‘However when Tom got here to gather him Arthur would ask if ‘she’, which means Tustin, was within the automotive. He could be in tears getting in to the automotive, asking if he might stick with me. It was heart-breaking.’

Pictured: Arthur, pictured here in his Spiderman hat, loved dressing up as superheroes according to his biological mother

Pictured: Arthur, pictured right here in his Spiderman hat, cherished dressing up as superheroes in line with his organic mom

Arthur’s different grandmother was additionally involved. Following a row with Tustin, Hughes moved again in along with his mom for 3 days in April. Arthur instructed her that Tustin had shoved him right into a wall and referred to as him ‘ugly’.

When Mrs Hughes checked his physique, she noticed extreme bruising from the entrance of his left shoulder to the rear, and photographed the accidents. The pictures had been despatched to Solihull Council’s social providers division and two social staff attended Tustin’s house for a spot test the subsequent day. However they weren’t proven the pictures prematurely and the go to got here to nothing after Tustin and Hughes coached the children to play the a part of pleased kids.

A key alternative missed – and, as we spotlight elsewhere, removed from the one one.

Lockdown clearly didn’t assist. With faculties closed, welfare checks by Arthur’s academics amounted solely to calls, then texts and emails – exchanges during which Hughes claimed Arthur was ‘grand’, ‘having fun with the backyard’ and ‘adorning his bed room’.

The fact couldn’t have been extra totally different and far of it was captured by Tustin’s personal safety cameras.

Coronary heart-breaking pictures present the six-year-old bedding down for the night time alone on the lounge flooring the place he was made to sleep. Every morning Tustin would drag the covers off the bewildered boy to wake him with a fright.

Arthur with his father. The youngster died after his head was repeatedly smashed against a hard surface

Arthur along with his father. The teenager died after his head was repeatedly smashed towards a tough floor  


Mom’s Day 2020:

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


Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes: ‘Child is a egocentric little c***. I will sprint my meals off his head.

‘I will take his c****** head proper off his shoulders.’

Could 23:

Hughes: ‘Simply take his jaw off’


Hughes: ‘Child’s getting ended once I get again.’

Tustin: ‘He is screaming at me once more, little f*****.’

Hughes: ‘Let him learn this: I am not within the temper in your video games tonight. Keep awake crying and being impolite to everybody once I get again you may rise up and I will go to city on you. Fed up of your foolish video games and perspective. Greatest be asleep once I get again or watch what occurs.’

Could 24:

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

Could 30:

In a textual content dialog about separating:

Tustin says: ‘Inform him he is received… I would like you however not him. I am not being handled like that by him.’

Hughes: ‘It might probably’t be one and never the opposite. Sadly it is acquired to be each or none.’

Tustin: ‘Cya.’

Finish of Could:

Tustin describes Arthur as: ‘malicious, merciless and simply plain terrible’.

Tustin refers to Arthur as a ‘cheeky little t***’ and ‘d*******’ earlier than saying: ‘I will chin this little c***.’

Hughes: ‘Child’s getting ended once I get again’ to which Tustin replies with an audio recording of Arthur moaning.

Tustin: ‘It is nonetheless going. It is getting boring.’

June 12:

Hughes to Tustin: ‘I will type him out once I’m house.’

June 15, day earlier than the deadly assault:

Hughes to Tustin: ‘Simply gag him or one thing.

‘Tie some rope spherical his mouth with a sock in it or one thing.’

Tustin: ‘I will be knocking him out if he continues.’

Tustin: ‘Kida (sic) bit me for the final time.’

The footage additionally confirmed the defendants tucking into takeaway meals in the lounge whereas ‘remoted’ Arthur was disadvantaged of meals and water and banished to the ‘pondering step’ on the foot of the staircase – his punishment for what they perceived to be his poor behaviour.

Throughout one two-day interval he was confined to a cramped hallway for 26 hours, whereas the defendants ate ice lotions or bathed in a scorching tub.

Tustin recorded 200 audio clips of the boy in misery, which she gleefully forwarded to her lover.

Some had been of Arthur wailing whereas one captured him saying ‘Daddy’s going to throw me out of the window’. In different clips Arthur cried ‘no person loves me’ and ‘nobody goes to feed me’.

Prosecutors mentioned the systemic abuse meted out to Arthur, which included feeding him salt-laden meals, matched the medical definition of kid torture. By the tip he was too weak even to carry a glass of water to his mouth. On the day he died – June 16 – prosecutors imagine Tustin shook after which slammed Arthur’s head on a tough floor, presumably after pushing him down the steps, whereas alone with the boy.

Hughes was on the grocery store on the time however returned house seven minutes after the deadly assault. It was an additional 5 minutes earlier than the pair referred to as an ambulance.

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC mentioned the ‘pitiless’ father ‘inspired’ the killing in a cellphone name lower than three minutes earlier than Arthur sustained his deadly head accidents, having beforehand despatched Tustin textual content responses, telling her to ‘fill him in’, ‘take his neck off’ and ‘get nasty’. Jurors had been additionally proven an image of Arthur, wearing Marvel Avengers pyjamas, slumped and crying by the entrance door – which Tustin admitted was ‘as a result of he had no power left in him’.

It was taken simply minutes earlier than he suffered the mind injury which killed him.

Of their defence, the pair both claimed Arthur was an unruly boy whose accidents had been self-inflicted, or blamed one another.

Giving proof, Hughes admitted he was ‘besotted’ with Tustin, who threatened to finish the connection if he did not punish Arthur.

However Mr Hankin instructed the court docket that would not excuse his behaviour, describing him as ‘depraved’ and ‘completely ruthless’ in his willingness to hit Arthur ‘over and again and again’.

Hughes eliminated his son’s favorite teddy bear, reduce up his prized Birmingham Metropolis FC soccer shirts in entrance of him, and on one other event duped the kid into pondering he was going to see his grandparents – earlier than turning the automotive round. ‘He was malevolent,’ the barrister mentioned. ‘He relished inflicting Arthur misery. That stage of cruelty is troublesome to grasp, not to mention in a father in direction of his personal son.’

Tustin, in the meantime, instructed jurors Arthur was so uncontrolled he threatened to stab her with a knife. It was a part of a ridiculous defence during which she claimed Arthur ‘threw himself’ into cabinets or doorways.

Whereas on remand awaiting trial, Tustin instructed a cellmate that Arthur died when ‘the little f***er tried to get out the entrance door and I ended him attempting to comply with his dad’.

The boy’s life help machine was switched off at 1am on June 17, 2020, the morning after he was brutally assaulted for the ultimate time.

In keeping with a supply, Arthur’s physique nonetheless lies in a hospital morgue as relations of his incarcerated mom and father battle one another for the suitable to bury him.

Even in loss of life, the harmless, defenceless little boy can’t discover the peace he was denied in life.  

The little boy who by no means stood an opportunity: How authorities missed FOUR key alternatives to save lots of Arthur 

Kin of tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in the present day hit out on the failings of social staff and police who missed a raft of alternatives to save lots of the six-year-old’s life.

His maternal grandmother Madeleine Halcrow instructed MailOnline: ‘Arthur was let down by social providers and the West Midlands Police. There was a chance to save lots of him and it wasn’t taken.’

The nurse spoke out as Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted of murdering Arthur on June 17, 2020, in the course of the Covid lockdown. Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, was additionally discovered responsible of manslaughter for encouraging the killing, together with by sending a textual content message to Tustin 18 hours earlier than the deadly assault telling her ‘simply finish him’. However he was cleared of homicide. 

They had been each discovered convicted of quite a few youngster cruelty costs after subjecting him to systematic abuse which matched the ‘medical definition of kid torture’, together with being disadvantaged of meals, made to face for 14 hours a day and poisoned with salt. 

The boy’s household squarely blame Solihull Council’s kids’s providers, which did not grasp a sequence of probabilities to cease Arthur’s ‘unimaginable’ torture earlier than he was murdered with 130 separate accidents.

MailOnline can in the present day reveal the stunning listing of failings by the authorities at each stage of Arthur’s life, together with permitting him to reside along with his father when his actual mom was convicted of stabbing her lover – a call that will have been made by a household court docket.

With seemingly little oversight from social providers, he then moved him into the home of a lady he had simply met regardless of her beforehand having two kids taken away from her.  

Within the months of lockdown whereas Arthur was being abused, social staff and police missed 4 alternatives to save lots of him, brushed away pleas from his household and even threatened them with arrest below Covid guidelines.

Arthur died on June 16, 2020 after struggling an ‘unsurvivable head harm’. These are the 4 key probabilities the authorities missed to avert the tragedy: 

  • ONE – Arthur’s grandmother, Joanne Hughes, referred to as social providers on April 16 to say she had seen the teenager coated in bruises. Nevertheless, social staff failed to identify them throughout a go to to his house.
  • TWO – On April 20, Joanne additionally instructed Arthur’s college what she had seen. A member of workers referred to as social providers however was instructed the bruises had been attributable to ‘play’.
  • THREE – Arthur’s uncle, Daniel Hughes, stories his considerations to police however is threatened with arrest if he tries to return to the teenager’s house.
  • FOUR – John Dutton, Emma Tustin’s stepfather, makes an nameless name to social providers weeks earlier than Arthur’s loss of life.


Grandmothers stories bruises to social providers – however they fail to see them throughout go to 

Arthur’s paternal grandmother, Joanne Hughes, made a name to Solihull council’s emergency staff on April 16 to report bruises on his shoulders.

She additionally instructed them Arthur had mentioned the accidents had been attributable to Tustin, who ‘grabbed him to the face, referred to as him names and pushed him and he bumped his head on the steps’.

In response to her report, social employee Jayne Kavanagh and help employee Angela Scarlett-Coppage had been dispatched to the household house in Shirley, Solihull, the next day.

Mrs Kavanagh instructed jurors she arrived to seek out Arthur enjoying outdoors and he appeared ‘clear’, ‘very pleased’ and ‘boisterous’. She was unable to identify any bruising aside from a ‘faint yellow’ mark in the course of his again. 

Grandmother: Arthur’s physique has nonetheless not been buried 16 months on on account of household row 

Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, instructed MailOnline that her grandson’s physique stays within the mortuary of Leicester Royal Infirmary, the place the autopsy was carried out 16-months in the past, on account of a authorized dispute over who has the suitable to put him to relaxation.

Her household need to bury him in a small quiet funeral in a churchyard in Birmingham whereas the Hughes household have a plot for him elsewhere and need to take cost of the service.

Ms Halcrow confirmed she had sought authorized recommendation with a agency of solicitors and added: ‘I hope that we will attain some kind of settlement with the Hughes household – for Arthur’s sake.

‘However in the intervening time it would not look that manner and it is trying more and more doubtless the matter of will have the ability to lay him to relaxation will go to court docket.’

After talking Tustin and Hughes, she and Ms Scarlett-Coppage fashioned the view that Arthur was being cared for in a ‘pleased family’ who had been ‘all getting alongside’.

They reported ‘no safeguarding considerations’ and the case was not referred for a full social providers evaluation. As an alternative they provided to place a help employee in contact below the Early Assist scheme, however no work came about.

Mrs Kavanagh mentioned she was left ‘in shock’ when she finally noticed the picture of darkish bruises on Arthur’s shoulder blades. 

Requested in court docket if she might clarify why she was unable to identify bruises which had been noticeable a day earlier, she replied: ‘No’.

She added: ‘I used to be shocked and in disbelief that these images might have been taken the day earlier than and my colleague and I hadn’t seen something the day afterwards.’  

Arthur’s maternal grandmother Madeleine Halcrow, mentioned Joanne Hughes and her husband, Chris, visited her at her house in Birmingham in April to point out her the picture of Arthur’s bruises and ask if she knew how Arthur had acquired them. 

She instructed MailOnline: ‘I had no concept by any means as a result of I might been blocked from having any contact with Arthur by Thomas and I hadn’t seen him since October 21, 2019.

‘I instantly referred to as Solihull social providers however they instructed me that they’d already been to see Arthur and so they did not have any points.

‘I despatched them the pictures of his again after which referred to as the police who mentioned they’d additionally gone to the home and like social providers that they had no worries because the property was ”immaculate”.

‘My response was to say ”so an immaculate home would not represent youngster abuse then?” So far as I am conscious there have been no extra visits after that.

‘Each the police and social providers had been lied to by Thomas and Emma who instructed them that the bruise was from ‘boisterous play’. I do know it is troublesome as a result of there hadn’t been earlier contact with Arthur however nothing was executed when it ought to have been.’

The nurse added: ‘The entire social providers division failed Arthur. They will need to have seen how poorly Arthur was, how fatigued and weak he was. He died simply eight weeks later.’ 

Solihull’s £122,294 Director of Kids’s Providers on the time, Louise Rees, 60, left in August earlier than the trial started. Rees’ LinkedIn profile boasts that she is now ‘retired and loving it’.

Arthur had been on social providers’ radar for 3 years. In 2018 he was referred to them twice over considerations about his mom, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, an alcoholic and drug consumer who was finally jailed for stabbing to loss of life her lover.  


Apprehensive trainer calls social providers about bruises – however is instructed they had been attributable to ‘play’ 

On April 20, a determined Joanne Hughes instructed Arthur’s college in regards to the referral to social providers she had made 4 days earlier. 

Michelle Hull, safeguarding lead at Dickens Heath Group Main College, then contacted social providers to alert them to Joanne’s report however was instructed that they had ‘no considerations’. 

Ms Hull instructed jurors: ‘[Mrs Hughes] phoned to make us conscious she had considerations about Arthur and made a MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub) referral.

‘She mentioned that she had seen Arthur and he had bruises on, I believe, it was his again. She mentioned she had seen bruises.’

‘He is doing grand’: How evil father fobbed off involved college staff checking up on Arthur over lockdown

Workers at Dickens Heath main college contacted Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes for welfare checks when it shut in the course of the first Covid lockdown in April 2020. 

In response, Thomas painted an idyllic image of his son’s life – a jarring distinction to the twisted abuse he was truly struggling throughout this time. 

Replying to messages despatched on the college’s messaging platform, Hughes instructed workers his son had been ‘having fun with the backyard’ and ‘adorning his bed room’.

In a single change, he wrote: ‘Arthur is plodding alongside, having fun with the sunshine and messing in regards to the backyard.

‘We’d have a barbecue on the weekend. He simply desires to see his pals now as he misses them a bit. Thanks for checking in.’

The varsity replied: ‘Preserve having fun with the nice outdoor, Arthur. We miss you too however we’ll all be again collectively quickly when it’s secure. Benefit from the weekend. ‘

In one other message, Hughes added: ‘Arthur has been doing grand. He is discovered it fairly difficult not being at college and never having that routine however we have been adorning his bed room.

‘He is executed little bits of schoolwork and doing PE with Joe [Wicks]. Take care and keep secure.’ 

Ms Hull mentioned Arthur’s grandmother had additionally voiced considerations about Tustin’s ‘psychological well being’ and mentioned that she was a ‘coercive’ associate.

She added: ‘She was involved the connection wasn’t a optimistic one.

‘She was nervous about Thomas and Arthur as a result of the associate that he had – she was nervous about her psychological well being. She felt his associate, Emma, was coercive.’

Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, requested Ms Hull whether or not social providers had defined to her the character of the checks they carried out on Arthur whereas visiting him at house.  

‘What, if any, data had been you given in regards to the nature of the checks that social providers mentioned had been carried out?’ the barrister requested. 

Ms Hull replied: ‘They mentioned they’d seen Arthur and that the accidents had been from boisterous play.

‘That the household relationship appeared OK. And so they had no considerations.’

Requested if the help employee had given additional element in regards to the accidents she had seen, Ms Hull mentioned: ‘I believe she referred to the bruises on the again.’

Ms Hull mentioned the social employee ‘did not have any considerations about parenting’ by Tustin.

The trainer added that social providers instructed her she ‘wasn’t allowed to share any data with Arthur’s grandmother as a result of (parental) consent hadn’t been given’.

As an alternative, Ms Hull volunteered for the college ‘to remain concerned and simply do check-ins with the household’, which Mr Hughes consented to.

Requested why she had made that provide, Ms Hull mentioned: ‘As a result of they had been a household we had taken in and nurtured and that is very a lot how our faculty works.’ 

Dickens Heath had beforehand raised considerations about Arthur’s psychological state. 

He began on the college in February 2019. On the time he had been instructed that his mom, on remand for killing her boyfriend, had left to affix the military.

By October 2019, his trainer Aileen Carabine mentioned that he had realized that his mom was in jail and had turn into extra “reserved and anxious’. She mentioned he had turn into “fixated” along with his father disappearing from his life, being taken away from his father and his father killing him.

Hughes and his mom had a gathering with each the college and a paediatrician in November 2019 at which they spoke of their considerations for a way weak Arthur was, how he was clingy, babyish and obsessive about cuddly toys. 

They had been instructed by each the college and the medic that these had been regular signs for a kid in Arthur’s state of affairs and they need to reply with love and understanding and to not punish him or take away his toys.

The varsity made a referral to psychological well being providers and in March 2020 Arthur met with Kerry Forsyth-Benson, a CAMHS (Kids and Adolescent Psychological Well being Providers) practitioner. 


Teenager’s uncle tells police about his accidents – just for officer to threaten HIM with arrest over Covid guidelines if he goes to test on nephew 

Arthur’s uncle, Daniel Hughes, mentioned he additionally had images of the teenager’s bruises and confirmed them to police, however by no means heard something again. 

Daniel mentioned he and different relations tried to go to Arthur at house to confront Tustin and Hughes. 

After the tried go to, he contacted West Midlands Police to report his considerations, however as a substitute of taking any motion an officer threatened him with arrest for breaking Covid guidelines if he tried to go to the home once more.  

The Solihull home where Arthur was abused, which his uncle, Daniel Hughes, tried to visit with other relatives to confront Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes about what they were doing to him

The Solihull house the place Arthur was abused, which his uncle, Daniel Hughes, tried to go to with different relations to confront Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes about what they had been doing to him  

Daniel instructed jurors {that a} reluctant police employee finally agreed to obtain images of the kid’s bruises however he by no means heard something again.  

He mentioned: ‘I went on the police webchat to investigate as to what I might do for the protection of my nephew.

‘I had a webchat with an operative. He gave me a case quantity and inside ten minutes a non-public quantity referred to as me.

‘A police officer recognized himself, who mentioned he had been round to the tackle and spoke with Tustin and Tom [Thomas Hughes]. We had been suggested if we had been to return to the tackle we’d be arrested.

‘I mentioned I had images of Arthur’s accidents and I did not imagine that if he had seen these accidents, he could be pleased that he was okay. He reluctantly acquired the images and mentioned he would converse to his sergeant and get again to me. He by no means did.’

Daniel didn’t reveal the precise date of the decision and it isn’t clear who took the images. 

After Arthur’s loss of life, a neighbour wrote on Fb claiming that they had additionally knowledgeable police he was being abused. 

They wrote: ‘I rang the police! I rang youngster providers! They did nothing and consequently the toddler has died. Solihull youngster providers make me really feel sick.’ 

Apart from the failings of social providers, West Midlands Police have been investigated over their dealing with of the case by the Impartial Workplace for Police Conduct, who are actually on account of launch their findings. 


‘He was at risk’: Nameless name to social providers by Tustin’s stepfather weeks earlier than tragic boy’s homicide 

John Dutton, Tustin’s stepfather, instructed jurors he made a name to social providers simply weeks earlier than Arthur collapsed with deadly mind accidents on June 16, 2020. 

Requested why he made the referral – which he selected to maintain nameless – Mr Dutton mentioned: ‘I assumed he was at risk.’

Mr Dutton mentioned Hughes ‘dished out the self-discipline’ on visits to his house and admitted slashing Arthur’s beloved Liverpool and Birmingham Metropolis soccer shirts.

Days before his death: Arthur attempts to pick up a duvet from the floor where he slept in CCTV footage shown to Coventry Crown Court

Days earlier than his loss of life: Arthur makes an attempt to choose up a cover from the ground the place he slept in CCTV footage proven to Coventry Crown Court docket

He additionally mentioned that in one go to in the course of the first Covid lockdown, Hughes confessed how he had ‘gone to city’ on the teenager.

Mr Dutton mentioned: ‘He instructed us that he had gone to city on him and when he had executed it he went as much as the bathe and cried his eyes out.’

Requested by prosecutor Jonas Hankin, QC, what Mr Dutton took that to imply, he sobbed: ‘Belt the life out of him.’ He added: ‘I used to be simply shocked. He did not appear the kind.’

Mr Dutton instructed the court docket that after the decision, he stopped permitting Arthur into his home as a result of his spouse was ‘distressed’ at how he was being handled.

He mentioned Arthur was ordered to sit down at a desk and face the wall ‘for hours’ like ‘a zombie’ every time he was introduced over to their house.

Boy who by no means stood an opportunity: From a killer mom to father and stepmother who mocked and abused him until his dying day – timeline of tragic case 


February: Arthur’s organic mom, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 29, kills her associate Gary Cunningham by  stabbing him 12 occasions with a kitchen knife. 

Arthur is moved into the care of his father, Thomas Hughes, 29. Later he meets Emma Tustin, 32, on-line. 

Hughes and Arthur moved into an annexe behind his guardian’s backyard. 

His grandmother mentioned Arthur was ‘nervous’ at first however grew to become a ‘pleased, well-rounded youngster’. 

August: Hughes met Tustin on relationship web site Loads of Fish. They went on their first date in a pub.   

Tustin didn’t reveal that in 2013 she had tried to commit suicide. 

She additionally didn’t reveal how her first two kids went to reside with their fathers. 

After three dates Hughes launched Tustin to Arthur.

September: Hughes’ brother Blake mentioned his nephew’s behaviour ‘change quite a bit’. 

He mentioned his brother grew to become extra anxious at being instructed off whereas his brother ‘grew to become rather a lot stricter.’

Hughes additionally recalled an incident the place he argued with Tustin as a result of he purchased Arthur a Subway sandwich, which she mentioned was ‘an pointless deal with.’

October: Aileen Carabine, a particular instructional coordinator at Arthur’s college, mentioned Arthur ‘deteriorated’ that month. 

She mentioned he grew to become extra reserved, anxious and ‘not fairly as smiley’. 

November: Thomas and his mom Joanne met with Arthur’s college to debate their rising considerations about his behaviour. 

Academics mentioned Arthur was having nightmares and spoke of his father ‘killing him.’

Tustin grew to become pregnant with Hughes, however had a miscarriage.

December: Arthur grew to become upset throughout a Christmas nativity when the infant was taken out of its crib. 

Hughes proposed to Tustin within the annexe. 


January: Arthur’s college start to lift considerations about him, together with his ‘clinginess’ and ‘obsession’ with smooth toys’. 

February: Tustin took Arthur together with her to have her hair executed. Arthur was made to sit down at a desk along with his arms on his knees and never transfer. 

March: Hughes and Arthur transfer into Tustin’s house in Solihull. 

April 16:  Arthur’s paternal grandmother, Joanne Hughes, made a name to Solihull council’s emergency staff to report bruises on his shoulders.

April 17: Social employee Jayne Kavanagh and help employee Angela Scarlett-Coppage go to Tustin’s house however report ‘no considerations’. 

April 20: A determined Joanne Hughes tells Arthur’s college in regards to the referral to social providers she had made 4 days earlier. Michelle Hull, safeguarding lead at Dickens Heath Group Main College, contacts social providers however is instructed they’ve ‘no considerations’. 

April (particular date unclear): Thomas Hughes fobs off Arthur’s college in on-line messages, insisting he’s ‘doing grand’. 

April (particular date unclear): Arthur’s uncle, Daniel Hughes, tries to alert police to Arthur’s bruises. 

Could/June (particular date unclear): When John Dutton, Tustin’s stepfather, says he made an nameless name to social providers.

June 8: Arthur’s college re-opened however Hughes didn’t ship him again. He claimed his son had a nasty night time’s sleep and would ship him again the subsequent day. 

Arthur would by no means return to high school.  

June 12-15: Arthur spent greater than 35 hours in isolation within the hallway.

On Friday Arthur was made to face in corridor for 14 hours, 19 minutes, as Tustin ate McDonald’s together with her son in the lounge.

On Saturday Arthur was made to face within the corridor for 11 hours and 49 minutes. 

Within the video, Hughes may be seen slapping him across the head whereas Tustin grabbed him by the scruff of the neck as she marches him from the kitchen to the hallway.

The couple frolicked of their backyard scorching tub and consuming ice lotions.

On Sunday Arthur was within the hallway for 10 hours and 54 minutes and made to put on a fleece onesie.

June 15: Tustin is seen waking Arthur up at 7.06am by ripping his bedding from beneath him.  

Horrific closing video exhibits an emaciated Arthur struggling to choose up a cover from the lounge flooring the place he had been pressured to sleep.  

June 16: Arthur suffered an ‘unsurvivable harm’ attributable to Tustin repeatedly banging his head on a tough floor. 

June 17: Arthur’s life help was switched off and he died in hospital.  

December 1, 2021:  Labinjo-Halcrow is jailed for 11 years for killing Mr Cunningham.