‘I want you but not him’: What step-mother texted partner about his six-year-old son before they ‘tortured, poisoned with salt and killed boy they branded ”devil child”’ 

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  • Emma Tustin refers to 6-year-old Arthur Lebinjo-Hughes as ‘Little T**t’, a court hears
  • She remarked in messages to her boyfriend Thomas Hughes, jurors heard
  • Both deny murdering Arthur, who fell at Tustin’s home in Solihulli.
  • Court heard Tustin sent Hughes a text saying ‘I want you but not him’
  • Hughes replied ‘It cannot be one and not the other. Unfortunately, it has to be both or none’, and Tustin then said ‘Sia’, Coventry Crown Court was told.

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Emma Tustin, 32, refers to Arthur Lebinjo-Hughes as ‘Little T**t’, court hears

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A woman accused of killing her partner’s six-year-old son called him a ‘devil child’ and sent a text to the boy’s father saying ‘I want you but not him’, a court heard.

Emma Tustin, 32, referred to Arthur Lebinzo-Hughes as ‘Little T**t’, ‘Little P***k’, ‘Little F**k’ and ‘Little C**t’ in messages to her boyfriend. referenced in. In the weeks before the boy suffered fatal injuries, 29-year-old Thomas Hughes, Coventry Crown Court heard.

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The jurors were told that Arthur had tried to tell family members ‘no one loves me’ and ‘I will not be given food today’ before he died.

Tustin and Hughes are accused of ‘Poisoning’ the child with salt and abusing him for months before ‘banging his head with a hard surface’.

Both deny murdering Arthur, who fell at Miss Tustin’s home in Solihull, Shirley, West Midlands, on 16 June last year. He died the next day at Birmingham Children’s Hospital after suffering a brain injury.

The court was told that Tustin had sent several messages claiming that Arthur was ‘screaming’, refusing to eat his food, demanding to go to his grandmother and attack her.

The couple also spoke of separation and in one line the jury was told that Tustin sent a text that said: ‘I want you but not her. I am not being treated like this by him.

Hughes replied: ‘It cannot be one and not the other. Unfortunately, it should be both or none.’

In response, the court was told, Tustin delivered the message: ‘Sia.’

In the week before Arthur (right) fell, Tustin reportedly said of her with Hughes (left): 'There's an issue in this house.  One person causes s**t

In the week before Arthur (right) fell, Tustin reportedly said of her with Hughes (left): ‘There’s an issue in this house. One person causes s**t

Hughes (left) is accused of forcing his son to endure 'physical and psychological' abuse in the weeks leading up to his death

Hughes (left) is accused of forcing his son to endure ‘physical and psychological’ abuse in the weeks leading up to his death

Miss Tustin has pleaded guilty to one count of child cruelty but denies further charges of the same crime. Shirley’s Mr Hughes also denies crimes of child cruelty.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died in hospital several hours after being found unresponsive at a home on Cranmore Road in Shirley, near Birmingham

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died in hospital several hours after being found unresponsive at a home on Cranmore Road in Shirley, near Birmingham

On the third day of the hearing yesterday, the jury was shown further text messages, audio and video clips being exchanged between the defendants, who disputed Arthur several times.

The jury was told that Miss Tustin made several references to being pregnant in the weeks leading up to 16 June, and in a message she accused Mr Hughes of ‘turning her back’ on her unborn child.

The court heard her lover read another text that said: ‘You be with the devil child.’

A week before Arthur’s fall, Miss Tustin reportedly said of him with Mr Hughes, ‘There’s an issue in this house. One person causes s**t.’

In texts on June 11 she referred to Mr Hughes killing Arthur as well as kicking a hole in the door, jurors heard.

In a message read to the court, Miss Tustin said: ‘Take your precious child who can do no wrong and f**k off.’

In the days just before Arthur’s death, prosecutors began playing CCTV from inside the property, so the jury was also given a virtual tour of the house.

In February 2019, Arthur was in the full-time care of Mr Hughes after his mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcro, was accused of murdering his new partner, Gary Cunningham.

He was jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of murder in July this year.

Trial continues.

Olivia Labinjo-Halcro (pictured), 26, was previously held in custody for 18 years after she stabbed her boyfriend Gary Cunningham 12 times while intoxicated at their home

Pictured: Gary Cunningham

Arthur’s natural mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcro (left), 26, was previously held in custody for 18 years after she stabbed boyfriend Gary Cunningham (right) 12 times while drunk at her home.

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