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Emma Tustin has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering her six-year-old stepson.
Tustin, 32, will have to serve a minimum of 29 years before being eligible for parole, after she was convicted of murder following a nine-week trial.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of “evil” Tustin, after she had cruelly abused, starved and poisoned him.
She fatally assaulted the boy in the hallway of her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull, on June 16th 2020, using severe force.
He died shortly afterwards in hospital.
Tustin was unanimously convicted on Thursday of Arthur’s murder after an eight-week trial at Coventry Crown Court, with the boy’s “pitiless” father, Thomas Hughes, 29, found guilty of his manslaughter, after encouraging the killing.
It emerged at trial that Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, after concerns were raised by his paternal grandmother, Joanne Hughes, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.
At the start of the pair’s sentencing hearing at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, Ms Hughes read a victim impact statement on behalf of her family.
The secondary school teacher said Arthur, as a “happy, contented, thriving seven-year-old” would “be alive today” had her son not met Tustin.
But she added: “It is also clear that Arthur was failed by the very authorities that we, as a society, are led to believe are there to ensure the safety of everyone.”
Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, in a victim impact statement delivered on behalf of the boy’s natural mother, recalled his “beautiful smile” and his “kind, nurturing spirit”, adding that he had been “the light of my life”.
“He was let down by a person he trusted and should have protected him, left alone and isolated, and then they took him away from me,” she said.
“My child, my little love, defenceless, trusting and nothing but loving, was killed.
“His short life stolen and the hole left in me and those who loved Arthur will never be repaired.
“Sleep well, my angel – you are truly loved.”
Featured Image Credit: PA
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