Arthur's killer dad agrees for boy's body to be released so funeral can take place

7 December 2021, 10:32

Arthur, 6, can finally be laid to rest
Arthur, 6, can finally be laid to rest. Picture: West Midlands Police

By Emma Soteriou

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes can finally have a funeral 16 months on from his death after his killer father agreed to allow his body to be released.

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Arthur's dad, killer Thomas Hughes, agreed to release his body to his mum, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, with hopes of providing a "tiny scrap of peace", according to his lawyers.

Hughes was was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter for his role in Arthur's death.

He and his partner - Arthur's stepmum - Emma Tustin, poisoned, starved and beat Arthur in a prolonged campaign of abuse.

She was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old's murder.

Read more: Zahawi: 'Whole nation is distraught' at 'horrific' death of six-year-old Arthur

Read more: Evil stepmother Emma Tustin ‘poisoned with salt’ in jail in revenge for killing Arthur, 6

Hughes' lawyer, Bernard Richmond QC, said: "I have spoke to him and said this can't go on. He has instructed me to say that Arthur's remains, after a service with his family, must go to his mother's family for her to have a funeral and she must have control of his ashes.

"He does hope he can give Olivia a tiny scrap of peace."

A family dispute had previously meant Arthur's body remained in a hospital in the Midlands, with his relatives disagreeing over who had the right to lay him to rest.

Arthur's mum said in her victim statement that she was "heartbroken" at the thought of his body being stored alone in a cold box.

Arthur's mother is currently serving a jail sentence for killing her partner.

Arthur's maternal grandfather said Hughes and Tustin "must never see the light of day again" for what they had done.

There have been calls for 'Arthur's law' to be introduced, meaning anyone found guilty of killing a child would face prison indefinitely.