Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: grandfather ‘can’t understand’ why warnings were ‘ignored’

A major review has been launched into the circumstances that led to the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

<p>Emma Tustin was jailed for at least 29 years for murdering her stepson Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.</p>

Emma Tustin was jailed for at least 29 years for murdering her stepson Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’s maternal grandfather has said he “can’t understand” why warnings about the six-year-old’s care were not heeded.

On Friday, 3 December Emma Tustin, Arthur’s stepmother, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 29 years.

His father Thomas Hughes was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years. Arthur’s biological mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, is currently serving an 11 year sentence for manslaughter.

Arthur’s grandfather Peter Halcrow said someone should have stepped in when “alarm bells” were ringing in the case of his grandson.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the little boy had been “well loved and well looked after” by his paternal grandparents.

Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow is currently serving an 11-year sentence for manslaughter (image: SWNS/PA/West Midlands Police)

He said: “They’re decent people, and they were very concerned, and they issued warnings which were ignored, shall we say.

“I can’t understand why something wasn’t done about it.

“I don’t know who runs Solihull social services or who went round to the house, because they were called and they must have had a snapshot of the house, and they must have felt everything was fine.”

Asked what he would like reviews into the six-year-old’s death to consider, Mr Halcrow told Today: “It’s not as if it was a kind of ‘passing by’ thing. I mean, people were flagging up there were problems and social services got involved and said there was nothing to worry about.”

He continued: “How can you ask me what I would like them to consider? I mean, they must have a tick-list to do, ‘house is clean, everything’s tidy, blah, blah, blah, so we’ll not worry about it’.

“If alarm bells are ringing all around, even neighbour statements, then surely, there must be someone or some kind of body that can step in and say ‘right, we’re taking that child out of that situation’, you know?

“If the father is not man enough to do that himself then someone has to say ‘this child is suffering and needs help’ and take them out of the situation. And I guess that’s what social services are for.”

Major review launched into circumstances around Arthur’s death

Mr Halcrow’s comments come after the chief inspector of Ofsted said an investigation into child protection services in Solihull is due to get underway next week.

Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

The Government has also announced a major review into the circumstances which led to the murder of the six-year-old.

The review will aim to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. in the months before he was murdered by stepmother Emma Tustin at their home in Solihull.

His father Thomas Hughes has been jailed for manslaughter.

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