Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Killers should get whole-life sentences says policing minister

·2-min read
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’  case is to be the subject of a review  (PA)
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ case is to be the subject of a review (PA)

The policing minister has said that the couple convicted over the death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes should be given whole-life sentences.

Stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was on Thursday found guilty of murdering the six-year-old boy, after abusing, poisoning and eventually beating him to death.

Arthur’s father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was convicted of manslaughter for encouraging the killing – including sending a text message to his partner less than 24 hours before the fatal attack, instructing her to “end” his son.

Speaking this morning on Times Radio, Kit Malthouse expressed his surprise that the pair were not given more severe sentences.

When asked if Tustin and Hughes should have been handed whole-life sentences, he said: “Yes I would. I was surprised that they didn’t.”

It comes as Arthur’s maternal grandfather said the couple behind his murder “must never see the light of day again”.

Peter Halcrow, 61, from Dunkeld, Perthshire has reportedly called for the pair to never leave prison, after the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) confirmed their sentences are to be reviewed.

Mr Halcrow told The Sun: “They must never see the light of day again. No punishment could ever be enough for this pair.

“I have never favoured the death penalty because I know mistakes can be made by courts, but in my view they have forfeited their right to live.

“It will burden taxpayers but, as we don’t have capital punishment, they should certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity.”

The AGO has 28 days from the date of sentence to review a case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme, and make a decision as to whether to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal then makes a ruling on cases that have been referred.

A spokesperson for the AGO said: “The attorney general’s thoughts are with those who loved Arthur.

“I can confirm that the sentences given to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes have been referred to the attorney general for review to determine whether they were too low.”

Both comments come as education secretary Nadhim Zahawi is due to make a Commons statement on the case later on Monday.

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