Six-year-old warned that his father ‘was going to kill him,’ court told

- Advertisement -

A six-year-old boy had warned people “for more than a year” before his death that his father would kill him, but “no one listened”, a murder trial has been heard.

- Advertisement -

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died in June last year after suffering a “non-existent” head injury while fully under the care of his stepmother.

His father Thomas Hughes, 29, and stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, are facing trial at Coventry Crown Court on murder charges – which they both deny.


Medical evidence suggests that Arthur would not have been able to hurt himself, but Tustin maintains that he is innocent of the murder.

The stepmother has pleaded guilty to two counts of child cruelty, specifically intimidation and assault.

- Advertisement -

In her closing remarks on Monday, defense barrister Mary Prior QC said Tustin “let that little boy suffer and she accepts it, and she will pay a heavy price for it”.

Hughes regularly abused her son at her home in Solihull, she said, adding that Arthur – whose biological mother is in prison for murder – had also told people that his “father was going to kill him”.

Since he was five years old, before his father and stepmother met, Arthur had told relatives, his school and his doctor that his father was making death threats – Ms. Prior told the court.

Arthur had warned several adults “for over a year and no one listened,” she said.

Ms Pryor continued: “He was about to die and he was about to die because Thomas Hughes was in charge of Arthur’s life and there was nothing but sadness in Arthur’s life.”

The court had previously heard that Hughes had threatened Arthur, such as “putting him down six feet”.

He also sent Tustin messages like “[the] The baby is coming to an end when I come back”.

Although he was not present at the time of the injuries that led to his son’s death, Hughes is being accused of “inciting” the violence and equally guilty of physically abusing himself.

In his closing speech, prosecuting barrister Jonas Hankin QC stated that Arthur had been “harassed” and “dehumanized” by Hughes and Tustin, who then “murdered” him.

Also on Monday, it was revealed by Tustin’s cellmate Ellen Pritchard that Arthur had 137 bruises on his body at a time.

She told jurors that she read about the injuries on Tustin’s paperwork inside the HMP Eastwood Park cell in November 2020, while awaiting trial, before Tustin was escorted out of the shared room.

A heart-wrenching recording has also surfaced of Arthur crying out as “no one loves me” and “no one is going to feed me”.

The jurors are told that whenever the boy’s father was not at home, Tustin would send Hughes Voice notes of Arthur crying, and Hughes would respond with messages such as “Dig Arthur’s Grave”.

The pair deny counts of child cruelty related to charges such as they poisoned Arthur with salt in his drink and food, and made him stand in their hallway for 12 to 14 hours a day.

Ms Pryor said Arthur had shown anxious and clingy behavior, and suffered nightmares when his mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcro, was imprisoned for 11 years for murdering her boyfriend in 2019.

The barrister said that Hughes ignored the advice of Arthur’s school and doctors to treat his son kindly and without harsh punishment, and that he did not share this advice with his partner.

The court heard that Arthur and his father had been living at Tustin’s home for more than a year as they were there when the coronavirus lockdown was announced in March 2020.

Trial continues.


Credit: /

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories