Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Sentences of killers referred for being 'too lenient'

31 December 2021, 15:03

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: Picture: West Midlands Police

By Megan Hinton

The jail sentences handed to six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes killers, have been referred to the Court of Appeal for being too lenient, the Attorney General has confirmed.

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Arthur, from Solihull in the West Midlands, died in June 2020 following months of "evil abuse" in which he was poisoned, starved and beaten by stepmother Emma Tustin and father Thomas Hughes.

Tustin was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years at Coventry Crown Court on December 3, after being convicted of murder with the boy's "pitiless" father Thomas Hughes, 29, found guilty of his manslaughter, after encouraging the killing and jailed for 21 years.

Referring the case to the Court of Appeal, Ms Braverman said: "This is an extremely upsetting and disturbing case, involving a clearly vulnerable young child.

"Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes grossly abused their position of trust and subjected an innocent child, who they should have been protecting to continued emotional and physical abuse.

"I understand how distressing the public have found this case, but it is my job to decide if a sentence appears to be unduly lenient based on the facts of the case.

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"I have carefully considered the details of this case, and I have decided to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal as I believe them to be too low."

A date for the hearing at the Court of Appeal is yet to be set.

Dominic Raab previously told LBC he was "not satisfied" with the sentences given to the killers of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told LBC: "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."But he said the government is "toughening up the sentences for child cruelty".

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

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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."