One of the killers of Solihull’s Arthur Labinjo-Hughes had his sentence increased by three years after an appeal.
Arthur’s father, 29-year-old Thomas Hughes, and his partner Emma Tustin, 32, had appealed their sentences after they were convicted and sentenced to 21 years and 29 years, respectively.
Thomas’s sentence was increased from 21 years to 24 years.
“Arthur died on 17 June 2020 of catastrophic brain injury inflicted the day before by violent shaking and his head hitting a solid surface on multiple occasions with a force equivalent to a high-speed traffic accident,” the judgement said.
He suffered multiple cardiac arrests and irreversible brain damage, and could not be saved.
In March 2020, Arthur and Thomas had moved in with Emma and her two children. The events that led to the child cruelty counts took place between the period where the nation went into lockdown on 23 March 2020 and Arthur’s death three months later. During that period, he did not attend school.
He suffered at the hands of his father and stepmom. Arthur was only six when he was poisoned, beaten, and abused where he lived in Solihull.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said the “manslaughter bristled with aggravating features including as grave a breach of trust as can be imagined in respect of a small boy who was especially vulnerable”.
Lord Burnett added: “He (Hughes) lied to Arthur’s school to keep him at home to protect both himself and Tustin.
The judges said: “In our view the appropriate sentence is one of 24 years’ imprisonment to take account of all the offending. We grant leave to the Attorney General to refer the sentence.”
After the appeal, the judges didn’t change Emma’s sentence but increased Thomas’ as they decided that the previous one was unduly lenient.
Explaining the decision to not increase Emma’s, Lord Burnett said: “The child cruelty in which she engaged was at the top end of the scale for sentencing purposes, had it been considered in isolation.”
He continued: “The mechanisms of assault reflected explosive violence calculated to cause maximum harm rather than any sadism in the usual sense of the word.
“It would not alone have taken this case into 30-year minimum territory.”
The judges also heard appeals from Sarah Everard’s murderer, Wayne Couzens, and his sentence remains unchanged as well.
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