Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' dad to release body to family for funeral
He hoped the decision to release Arthur's body would give his mother a 'tiny scrap of peace'
The father of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will release his son's body to his mother for a funeral.
Thomas Hughes, who on Friday was jailed for 21 years for the death of his son, had been "passive" on the issue according to his lawyer but has decided to release Arthur's remains to the boy's mother and family for a service and funeral.
Arthur's mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, will then have control of her son's ashes. Hughes' lawyer said Arthur's dad hoped the decision would provide Labinjo-Halcrow with a "tiny scrap of peace."
The 29-year-old father was jailed for 21 years after he was found guilty of the manslaughter of six-year-old Arthur, who collapsed of severe head injuries at home in Solihull, on June 16 last year.
His partner, 32-year-old Emma Tustin, who delivered the fatal attack that killed the six-year-old, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 29 years for the murder of the boy.
However after the sentencing at Coventry Crown Court, it was confirmed that Arthur had yet to be laid to rest.
His mother Labinjo-Halcrow is currently in prison herself after being convicted of the manslaughter of her boyfriend Gary Cunningham.
It was after her arrest and imprisonment in 2019 that her son fell into the custody of Hughes and his girlfriend Tustin.
In an emotional statement, which was read by her mother Madeleine Halcrow, Labinjo-Halcrow said her life had been "destroyed" by her son's death, the Mirror reports.
She added: "Now over a year on my beautiful boy has still not been laid to rest. He is still alone and cold; the people who took him refuse to show compassion and allow his little body to be released to me, his mother; to finally let him rest peacefully and warm.
"Burying my beloved son is the final thing I will ever be able to do for him. The waiting is torture and even though I try to stop myself every night when I get into a warm bed, my heart breaks all over again at the thought of my Arthur alone in the cold."
Bernard Richmond QC, barrister for Hughes, told the court that his client had left the issue of Arthur's remains to his family and Labinjo-Halcrow's family to resolve but they had not been able to agree.
He explained that a "degree of passivity" was part of Hughes' character, and that he told Hughes "this can't go on."
Richmond added: "I have spoke to him and said this can't go on. He has instructed me to say that Arthur's remains, after a service with his family, must go to his mother's family for her to have a funeral and she must have control of his ashes.
"He does hope he can give Olivia a tiny scrap of peace."
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