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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Tustin and Hughes ‘must never see light of day again’, says grandfather of six-year-old

The grandfather of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has said the couple behind his death “must never see the light of day again”.

Arthur, a six-year-old from Solihull, West Midlands, was poisoned, starved and beaten by his father’s girlfriend Emma Tustin, 32, and his father Thomas Hughes, 29, in a prolonged campaign of “evil abuse”.

Tustin was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of murder.

Hughes was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

The Attorney General’s Office has confirmed the sentences will be reviewed and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed in the Commons on Monday a national review and targeted inspection will take place to assess why things went “horrifyingly wrong and what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again”.

Mr Zahawi said the agencies tasked with protecting children at risk of abuse and neglect in Solihull – Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Probation – will be subject to a joint targeted area inspection to consider their effectiveness, how they work together and will advise on where improvements must be made.

He added: “This will mean we can truly look at where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting children in the Solihull area, so that we can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes.”

The independent national review will work to identify the lessons to be learnt from Arthur’s case for the benefit of other children in England. It will be led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel.

Mr Zahawi said: “No government anywhere in the world can legislate for evil, but we will take action wherever we can to stop it from happening again because we must do more.”

Arthur’s maternal grandfather Peter Halcrow, 61, from Dunkeld, Perthshire, said Tustin and Hughes should never be allowed out of prison.

He 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.”

Arthur’s grandmother Madeleine Halcrow was among those who gathered outside his house in Solihull to remember him.

She wore a t-shirt with a picture of his face and wiped away tears as the crowd released balloons into the sky.

An independent national review will identify the lessons to be learned from Arthur’s death, in June last year, for the benefit of other children elsewhere in England.

It emerged in court the boy had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

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