Arthur Labinjo Hughes: Sentences for Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes reviewed at Court of Appeal

The sentences are being challenged by Attorney General Suella Braverman under the unduly lenient sentence scheme

The killers of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes are to have their prison sentences reviewed at the Court of Appeal today (Wednesday, May 4).

Senior judges are hearing challenges or appeals to the prison sentences of five killers, including the whole-life terms of Arthur’s step-mum Emma Tustin and his dad Thomas Hughes.

Thomas Hughes joined the hearing via video-link from HMP Wakefield.

The court heard that Emma Tustin declined to attend the hearing.

Arthur Labinjo Hughes suffered an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of Tustin, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years after assaulting the child on June 16 2020.

The six year-old body was also covered in 130 bruises. He died in hospital the next day.

His father, Hughes, who was sentenced to 21 years in prison for manslaughter, is also due to appeal against his sentence.

Emma Tustin, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years after being convicted of the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was murdered by his stepmum Emma Tustin while her partner, Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, who was convicted of manslaughter for encouraging the killing

The special court of five judges are considering how whole-life orders are imposed. They are also looking at the sentences of ex-PC Wayne Couzens who murdered Sarah Everard, double murderer Ian Stewart and child killer Jordan Monaghan.

The sentences are being challenged by Attorney General Suella Braverman under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

The sentence for Tustin, 32, previously of Cranmore Road, Solihull, was challenged by the Attorney General’s Office as unduly lenient.

Hughes, 29, is attempting to appeal his sentence which is also being challenged by the Attorney General’s Office.

The hearing before the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Johnson was due to start at 10.30am.

The five judges are expected to give their decisions at a later date.

Undated family handout file photo of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. In December, 32-year-old Emma Tustin was jailed for life for the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes after she cruelly abused, starved and poisoned him. His father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was found guilty of his manslaughter, after encouraging the killing.

What was said in court?

Addressing the sentence reviews of the killers of Arthur, Tom Little QC said: “This was, we accept, not a straightforward sentencing exercise. The trial was plainly a harrowing one for all concerned.”

He continued: “[Arthur] was forced to live a solitary and lonely life in a family home for, I would add, many months.”

Mr Little said Arthur was “subjected to the most unimaginable suffering,” with the behaviour he faced “often spiteful” and sometimes “sadistic”.

“This was an extremely serious example of child murder against the background of that cruelty,” the barrister continued.

Mr Little, commenting in relation to Emma Tustin’s case, said the “systemic and continual” nature of the offending ended with “a brutal murder”.

“It’s a case which merited at the very least consideration of a whole life order.”

He added that this was a case of “exceptionally high” seriousness, due to the “sheer extent and nature of the cruelty” involved.

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