EVIL stepmum Emma Tustin tried to kill herself to avoid facing justice over Arthur Labinjo-Huges’ harrowing murder – as she refuses to leave her cell to be sentenced.
Tustin, 32, was yesterday convicted of murdering little Arthur as well as subjecting him to horrific torture and abuse.
The six-year-old was isolated, poisoned with salt and starved in his final months before twisted Tustin’s fatal attack where she banged his head repeatedly against a hard surface.
Arthur’s dad, Thomas, 29 was also convicted of killing his son after waging a sick “campaign of cruelty” against him.
During the trial the court heard that sick Tustin had tried to take an overdose and attempted to hang herself to avoid facing punishment for murdering tragic Arthur.
It comes as:
- A dad and stepmum have been convicted of killing a young boy who was tortured to death
- The trial heard harrowing evidence that helped snare the killer pair
- Arthur's mum paid tribute from a jail cell where she is serving time for stabbing her lover to death
- A probe has been launched after Arthur's plight was ignored by police, social services and teachers
- Bodycam footage showed Tustin's tears as she tried to claim Arthur hit her
Her solicitor, Mary Prior QC, described her as a “high suicide risk” and added that she had been “obliged to terminate a pregnancy.”
Tustin was pregnant with Hughes baby when she violently attacked Arthur, undergoing an abortion in custody at 21 weeks.
Today she has refused to leave her cell to face justice for her campaign of horror on the youngster.
She has been described as a “Black Widow” by an ex-boyfriend, who claims that she falls pregnant soon after starting a new relationship to get "control" over the man.
“Wicked” Tustin was found guilty of murder at Coventry Crown Court yesterday, as Hughes was found guilty of manslaughter – encouraging his then partner to kill his son.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC told jurors Tustin had developed a hatred for Arthur and viewed him as an ‘obstacle’ to her relationship with his father.
Tragic Arthur was segregated for 14 hours a day and forced to sleep on the floor in a brutal struggle that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.
He was also poisoned with so much salt he was too weak to even put up a fight against his torturers' horrific abuse.
The youngster was found to have 130 injuries all over his body after being hit, slapped, kicked, punched, and beaten, “over and over”.
Haunting audio and video clips recorded in the final weeks of his life revealed he could barely speak and was no longer able to support his own weight.
After waiting 13 minutes to call the emergency services, Tustin faked sobbing in front of officers at her home and sickeningly tried to blame Arthur for causing his own injuries.
Now Tustin's ex-boyfriend, who is the father of one of her four own children, has said he and his family alerted social services about her.
Her former partner claims that callous Tustin only wanted the children for "attention" and "benefits."
He told the Daily Mail: "Social services have blood on their hands.
"If they had heeded our warnings then little Arthur might still be alive.
"She had no maternal instinct whatsoever. She wanted children for the attention they brought her as newborns, and for the child benefit.
"But once the attention died away and she was left at home with a baby, she didn’t want to know."
After the birth of their child, she threw herself out of a bedroom window and broke her leg to stop him going out with his best friend to wet the baby's head, he claimed.
When they split, he and his family alerted social workers to Tustin, claiming thatshe "turned on the water works" and accused him of beating her and the children instead.
He added: "I couldn’t tell social services about it because I was worried they’d take the baby away.
"Unfortunately, in terms of child welfare and social services, it is a woman’s world. The man is never believed."
She wanted children for the attention they brought her as newborns, and for the child benefit.
The wicked couple were also found guilty of multiple counts of child cruelty after six-and-a-half hours of deliberation.
Family members wept as a minute's silence for Arthur was held at the jury's request.
In his closing speech, prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said Tustin and Hughes carried out a "systematic course of conduct designed to terrorise, degrade, neglect and harm Arthur physically and psychologically".
He added: "Together they denigrated and debased him, they dehumanised him."
Arthur was segregated for 14 hours a day and forced to sleep on the floor in a brutal struggle that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.
A serious case review has now been launched into the shortcomings – including that Tustin was already known to children’s services over previous concerns of domestic violence.
West Midlands Police, too, has been probed by the police watchdog over its actions after worried family members raised concerns over Arthur’s safety.
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