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Evil step-mum guilty of murdering boy, 6, refuses to go to dock for sentence

Emma Tustin refused to approach the dock to hear her fate after the nation heard the details of one of the most appalling and horrific cases of child abuse in history

Artists impression of Emma Tustin in court
Artists impression of Emma Tustin in court

An ‘evil’ and ‘manipulative’ step-mum who abused, tortured and dehumanised an innocent six-year-old boy has refused to come into the dock to hear her jail sentence after being found guilty of killing him.

Twisted Emma Tustin is facing life in prison today after she was convicted of murder yesterday following a nine-week trial.

The 32-year-old, who was also convicted of multiple counts of child cruelty, inflicted the fatal attack on her partner’s son, six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes at her Shirley home last June.

The boy’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Jurors, who took six hours and 15 minutes to deliver their unanimous verdicts, afterward held a minute’s silence in Arthur’s memory.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes



As the sentencing began on Friday, Dec 3, Judge Wall told the court Tustin was present here at Coventry Crown Court but has decided not to come up into the dock.

Her barrister, Mary Prior, confirms she has spoken to Tustin and informed her the hearing will continue in her absence.

Tustin carried out the fatal assault while in sole care of Arthur at her home, violently shaking him and repeatedly banging his head, likely against the hallway wall.

She then callously took a photograph of the unconscious youngster on her mobile phone, while he lay dying in her hall, then sending the image to Hughes.

Emma Tustin



Tustin then took 12 minutes to call 999, instead first ringing Hughes, before lying to medics and later police that Arthur “fell and banged his head and while on the floor banged his head another five times”.

She then claimed at trial he must have thrown himself down the stairs, despite evidence he was so starved he was barely able to pick up his own bedding, or stand.

The attack happened the day before “coercive” and “controlling” Tustin’s birthday.

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