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03rd Dec 2021

Chilling video shows moment step mum tried to get away with murdering boy, 6

Steve Hopkins

Emma Tustin was on Friday jailed for 29 years for murdering Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Police bodycam footage shows the chilling moment the woman jailed for life for killing Arthur Labinjo-Hughes tried to get away with murder by attempting to shift the blame onto the six-year-old.

Emma Tustin, who on Friday was sentenced to life with a minimum of 29 years for poisoning, torturing, and murdering Arthur, was filmed by police after the boy suffered catastrophic head injuries.

When asked when happened, Tustin claimed that Arthur had started it after her partner, the boy’s father, Thomas Hughes, had gone to get their kids a birthday card and cake. Hughes, 29, has been jailed for 21 years for manslaughter.

Tustin said Arthur was asked to sit on the “thinking step”, but instead “put himself all over the floor” and had headbutted her when she tried to claim him.

The 32-year-old goes on to say: “He’s banged himself off the radiator, he’s hit me, he’s kicked me in the process of me trying to get him back on the thinking step.”

After taking a deep breath, she continues: “He then got on all fours and I told him to get up and shut the door.

“All I heard was a crack off the floor. He was headbutting the floor on all fours.  “He said ‘I don’t care’ and at that point, he was fine, and then he dropped his head as I’ve tried to bear hug him and pick him up and he headbutted the floor three times.”

The officer then asks Tustin to point out where Arthur had hit his head and she takes her through the door of the couple’s home in Solihull, West Midlands, taking time to explain that the floor is concrete with “no underlay under it”.

“He hit his head three or four times and when I went to pick him up he’d knocked himself unconscious,” Tustin claimed, before saying she picked Arthur up and carried him to the sofa where she poured water in his mouth.

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During the couple’s trial, the Coventry Crown Court heard Arthur died on June 17 after having his head banged “repeatedly against a hard surface” by his stepmother the previous day. Arthur had been sent to live with Hughes and Tustin after his mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, was jailed for killing her boyfriend, and had endured a campaign of cruelty that amounted to the “medical definition of child torture”. After his death, Arthur was found to have 130 injuries.  He was also deprived of food, made to stand for 14 hours a day, and poisoned with salt.

In the bodycam footage, the officer is then heard asking Tustin, who is standing next to Hughes, to repeat what happened, and she tearfully tells the officer.

“The last six months, he’s battered both my kids and smashed this house to pieces.

“He’s battered his dad, he’s hit me. When I tried to get him off the floor, he headbutted me and he’s hit me and kicked me.

“Yesterday we went to my friend’s house and he pushed me down five stairs.”

Imitating Arthur,  Tustin says: “You’re not my real mum, I hate you. I’m going to get my mum to kill you.”

Wiping away tears, she continues: “Even so, I’ve done my best with that kid.

“He f***ing hates me. I tried to get him off the floor.”

Hughes fidgets throughout the video, looking off into the distance, and running his hand through his hair.