Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: NY boy, 6, tortured to death by dad, stepmom struggled to stand

In disturbing sound bites, Arthur can be heard crying 'no one loves me' before his father and stepmom allegedly poisoned and tortured him to death


                            Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: NY boy, 6, tortured to death by dad, stepmom struggled to stand
A video shows Arthur so weak that he can barely stand and pick up his bedding (Dailymail)

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SHIRLEY, NEW YORK: In disturbing sound bites, a six-year-old boy, Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, can be heard crying "no one loves me" before his father and stepmom allegedly poisoned and tortured him to death. Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin, 32, have been accused of murdering Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who reportedly suffered an "unsurvivable brain injury". Arthur was subjected to a "campaign of cruelty" before he died, that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.

Police recently released audio and video clips that were played to jurors at the murder trial. Arthur can be heard crying "no one loves me" four times in one recording. In another, he repeatedly says "no one is going to feed me". Another video footage shows the little boy waking up on a living room floor in Shirley, Solihull, so weak that he can barely stand and pick up his bedding. Describing the footage, Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told the jury: "Arthur wakes up and stands. He appears to be struggling to fold his duvet. He appears to be crying and struggling on his feet. He drags his duvet on the floor out of the living room." The footage shows Arthur trying to stand up and carry is bedding with a lot of difficulties. He stumbles and limps as he steps out of the room.

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Tustin had reportedly recorded over 22 pictures and videos of Arthur in pain. CCTV footage gathered showed Arthur left in a McDonald's hallway for 14 hours and forced to sleep on the floor. There were also recordings of Arthur, made by Tustin, sobbing helplessly while allegedly being abused. In one clip, he was heard crying, "Daddy's going to throw me out the window, daddy's going to throw me out the window, daddy's going to throw me out of the window."

Arthur was placed in Huges' care after his mother was jailed for murdering her boyfriend (Dailymail)

 

Tustin allegedly beat Arthur to death on June 16 and called 911 13 minutes later to tell them that he was "barely breathing" after he "headbutted the floor". Paramedics later found Arthur "lying on his back, completely lifeless, quite pale with purple lips". Arthur died in a hospital the following day. The cause of death was given as a "head trauma inflicted on him by an adult" consistent with being "vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface". Doctors found that he was "unable to put up a fight" before his death because he had been poisoned with a tremendous amount of salt. The child had more than six spoons worth of the substance in his system, and a medic had never seen a level higher than that. 

The injuries

Arthur had allegedly been "segregated and isolated" for "up to 14 hours a day", without food, clothing and a bed. He was covered in 130 bruises from his head to his feet. He had as many as 93 areas of injury, including on his head, arms, legs, feet and torso. He also had 25 sites of bruising on his scalp, face, and neck that raised “serious concerns about non-accidental injury”. He had 0 areas of bruising on his arms and eight on his chest and stomach, jurors were told. Giving evidence, Dr Lyle told jurors: “I’m not sure that outside of obvious traumatic situations I’ve ever seen a child found dead at home with this number of injuries to the head and face.” 

Hughes recalled "slapping him on the back of the head" and giving him a Coca Cola as would "rather have him choking than have him give me nothing". "I put Arthur in this position. I'm accountable," he said in his police interview. "There's a long ways to go but I'm guilty of it. I don't want other people to suffer for my ignorance, my neglect. My mum, my dad. I don't want them to suffer. I don't want Emma to suffer."

Arthur even asked a doctor to "apologise to Arthur on his behalf to tell him that he was sorry" at a time when nothing could be done to save the child. The duo is accused of multiple counts of child cruelty, after forcing Arthur to endure "systematic, cruel behaviour" of "physical and psychological" abuse in the weeks before Arthur died. 

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said: "Both defendants participated in a campaign of cruelty intended to cause Arthur significant harm and suffering. Violence and intimidation, both physical and verbal, were routine. Arthur’s visible injuries, his miserable physical condition and obvious despair provided each defendant with a daily reminder of the lengths to which the other would go to cause him harm.” Arthur had been placed in Huges' care after his mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 26, was jailed for 18 years for murdering her boyfriend by stabbing him. 

Tustin has reportedly admitted child cruelty (Dailymail)

 

Arthur's gran claimed that she had called social services and wanted to send them pictures after she found Arthur was bruised, but they "didn't want to see them". Reportedly, child services eventually saw Arthur but "no concerns were raised". No action was taken even after photos of the bruises were sent to the police.

Tustin has now reportedly admitted child cruelty by abusing Arthur by "forcing him to stand, isolating him within the family home, and physically or verbally intimidating him". Huges, however, denied a similar charge. The pair denied murdering Arthur and administering salt to him between June 1 and 17 last year. As the trial continues, Huges and Tustin are jointly accused of two counts of child cruelty by assault on multiple occasions, as well as withholding food and/or drink.