Tustin and Hughes 'must never see light of day', says Arthur Labinjo-Hughes grandfather

6 December 2021, 07:03 | Updated: 6 December 2021, 07:30

The six-year-olds grandfather said the pair had 'forfeited their right to live'.
The six-year-olds grandfather said the pair had 'forfeited their right to live'. Picture: West Midlands Police

By Emma Soteriou

The grandfather of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has said his stepmum and dad should "never see the light of day again" after his murder.

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Peter Halcrow, 61, reportedly called for the pair to never leave prison, after the Attorney General's Office (AGO) confirmed their sentences were being reviewed.

Arthur had been poisoned, starved and beaten by his stepmum, Emma Tustin, and his father, Thomas Hughes, in a prolonged campaign of abuse.

Tustin, 32, 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, while Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

Read more: Hundreds release balloons in memory of little Arthur, 6, to 'show he was loved'

Read more: Government 'not satisfied' with sentences for 'appalling' Arthur Labinjo-Hughes murder

Mr Halcrow told the Sun: "They must never see the light of day again. No punishment could ever be enough for this pair.

"I have never favoured the death penalty because I know mistakes can be made by courts, but in my view they have forfeited their right to live.

"It will burden taxpayers but, as we don't have capital punishment, they should certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity."

The AGO will have 28 days from the date in which the couple were sentenced to review the case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme, and make a decision as to whether to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesperson for the AGO said: "The Attorney General's thoughts are with those who loved Arthur.

"I can confirm that the sentences given to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes have been referred to the Attorney General for review to determine whether they were too low."

A national review into child safeguarding has also been announced by the Government.

It comes as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is set to address the case as part of a Commons statement on Monday afternoon.

Read more: 'We must listen to Arthur's voice now', says England's children's commissioner

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC's Tom Swarbrick on Sunday that the Government was "not satisfied" with the pair's sentences.

He said: "I fully support the Attorney and ask the courts to look at this again.

"We wouldn’t be asking the court to look at this again if we felt satisfied."

He added: "This is an appalling case and my heart goes out to that little boy, Arthur."

Hundreds of people held a vigil for the six-year-old in Solihull on Sunday.

His grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, was among those who gathered outside the house where he was killed to pay tribute.

The crowd lined the road before letting go of balloons, some bearing messages, and applauding.