Football fans across the UK clapped for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes as his favorite team, Birmingham City, stopped the game in the sixth minute of their match to remember the schoolboy, reports ITV News correspondent Lucy Watson
Warning: Some readers may find this article worrying
The prison sentences handed down to the father and stepmother of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes for his murder are to be reviewed, the public prosecutor has confirmed.On Friday, the couple was jailed together for 50 years after they subjected the schoolboy to months of physical abuse.
Arthur’s father, 29-year-old Thomas Hughes, must serve at least 21 years for the murder of his son after he suffered an “insurmountable brain injury” on June 16, 2020.
His stepmother, Emma Tustin, carried out the murder while he was alone with Arthur at her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull, violently shook him and repeatedly knocked his head – probably against the hallway wall, floor or door, the court heard.
Arthur suffered an “insurmountable” brain injury and died at the hospital the next day, June 17, 2020.
31-year-old Tustin was sentenced to at least 29 years in prison.
ITV News correspondent Ben Chapman covered the trial and filed this report on Friday after the couple were jailed for Arthur’s murder
Convicts the couple, Judge Mark Wall QC said the trial had been “without a doubt one of the most disturbing and disturbing cases I have had to deal with”.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) confirmed Saturday afternoon that the sentences need to be reviewed to “determine if they were too low”.
The AGO has 28 days from the date of the judgment to review a case, assess whether it falls under the unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme and decide whether a judgment should be brought before the Court of Appeal.
An AGO spokesman said: “The Attorney General’s thoughts are with those who loved Arthur. I can confirm that the verdicts given to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes have been referred to the Attorney General for review to determine if they were too low. “
The court of appeal then makes the decision on the punishment.
It comes after Arthur’s MP Julian Knight said he would refer the sentences for review.
“There is a tangible sense of genuine loss and tragedy over this and also frankly a sense of anger and questions about how this was allowed to happen and how these monsters were allowed to inflict this horrific torture on this young, defenseless boy, “said the Conservative MP.
“My view is very simple: we must get to the bottom of how it happened and we must ensure that those who failed him are held accountable, but I also believe that anyone who reflects on these sentences yesterday, think they were too lenient, and my intention is to try to refer this to the system of unuly lenient punishment as soon as possible, and I will do so on Monday morning. “
Separately, a Change.org petition calling for Tustin and Hughes to have entire life orders received more than 117,000 signatures in just one day.
Lifelong orders are the most severe punishment found in the UK for those who commit the most serious crimes.
There are more than 60 criminals serving entire life orders, including Wayne Couzens, the police officer who raped and murdered Sarah Everard.
Anyone who receives an entire life order will never be considered for release unless there are unusual compassionate reasons to justify it.
On Saturday, tributes were also paid to Arthur at football matches across the country, including a minute of applause as the school student’s favorite team, Birmingham City, took on Millwall.
It came as experts said Arthur should have been the top priority for local social services.
Wendy Thorogood, director of the Association of Child Protection Professionals, said the murder of Arthur, whose body turned out to be covered in 130 bruises, was a “social responsibility”.
She told Times Radio: “He should (have been at the top of the social services priority list) and you would have expected them to actually look at his story, but unfortunately they continue with what they see at the time.
“I can not comment on what they actually witnessed, but you have to remember that he was in the hands of rather cruel people who could manipulate him, his environment and professionals.
“I would have expected any assessment to really take into account Grandma’s photos, I would have expected to have conversations … with Arthur, and that seems to have been missed.”
Ms Thorogood said Arthur did not receive “further” supervision from school and education when the incident took place during the coronavirus lockdown.
She added: “I feel like they probably took the assessment that he was happy out playing and a boy was noisy.
“I was expecting that any bruises that had been shown would actually have been shared with the health to actually have an overview of where the injury was.
“The biggest thing is actually talking to the child, and I can not say whether it actually happened or not.
“It is also a social responsibility that his cries were so abnormal if we had received an anonymous call from one of the neighbors, which could have given them more power to carry out the investigation.
“He was not on a child protection list, he was not one of those children that you would have considered a priority.”
Lord Laming, who led the public inquiry into Victoria Climbie’s death and reviewed the case of baby Peter Connelly, said social workers need to be properly trained and supported.
Peer also warned that the economic cuts of the past decade had taken their toll.
It happened when football fans clapped in the sixth minute of the match against West Ham against Chelsea when a picture of Arthur was shown on a screen.
Several tributes were paid by Coventry City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Aston Villa will do the same during Sunday’s clash with Leicester.
Former Minister for Children Tim Loughton said “we” all have a “duty” to ensure that other vulnerable children are not let down by social care in the same way as Arthur.
“Funding for children’s social care is lagging behind, and social workers are overworked and underestimated when in reality they should be honored as our fourth aid,” the Tory MP wrote in The Sun.
“Early interventions to stop the causes of protection problems have been diluted into late interventions to combat symptoms.
“This is a false economy where a child in this case has paid with his life. We all have an interest in rectifying this immediately and a duty to ensure that it is.”
Solihull’s local child safety partnership launched an independent review after it emerged in court, the boy had been seen by social workers only two months before his death, but they concluded that there were “no safety issues”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that ministers will leave “absolutely no stone unturned” to determine what went wrong in the “shocking” case.
‘I’m glad justice was done’
During a midterm campaign in Northern Shropshire, Mr Johnson said: “It’s early days, but I can tell you we will leave absolutely no stone unturned to find out exactly what went wrong in the terrible sag. “
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said he would make a statement on the matter to parliament on Monday.