Arthur killers’ sentences to be reviewed as grandad says they should never leave jail

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Peter Halcrow, the maternal grandfather of Arthur, has said the couple responsilbe for his death should spend their lives in jail (Picture: PA)

The grandfather of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has called for the couple behind the youngster’s murder to be locked up indefinitely.

Peter Halcrow, 61, has said ‘no punishment could ever be enough’ for little Arthur’s killers as the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) confirmed their sentences are to be reviewed.

Stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was found guilty of murder and father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced for manslaughter on Friday in a case that has shocked the nation.

The child suffered an unsurvivable brain injury after being fatally assaulted by Tustin in the hallway of her home in Solihull, on June 16 2020. She had previously abused, starved and poisoned him.

Arthur suffered an unsurvivable brain injury (Picture: PA)

Tustin was handed a 29 year sentence while Hughes received 21 years but there are calls for harsher punishments for the pair.

Mr Halcrow, the maternal grandfather of Arthur, from Dunkeld, Perthshire, said the couple ‘must never see the light of day again.’

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.’

Emma Tustin was found guilty of Arthur’s murder (Picture: PA)

Tributes have been paid to Arthur over the weekend, including at football matches where fans applauded as his photo was shown on the big screen.

Arthur’s grandmother Madeleine Halcrow was among a large crowd of people who on Sunday afternoon gathered outside the house in Cranmore Road, Solihull, where the six-year-old was killed, to pay tribute.

She could be seen wiping away tears at the vigil while wearing a T-shirt bearing his face.

The crowd lined the road before letting go of the balloons, some bearing messages, and applauding.

Thomas Hughes will serve 21 years for manslaughter (Picture: PA)

Residents, some with tears in their eyes, could be heard saying ‘bye Arthur’ and ‘fly high always’.

They then formed a line outside the house before balloons, posters and flowers were placed around the property.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse has said he would like to see Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’s father and stepmother given whole-life sentences, similar to that handed to Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens.

His comments come as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is due to make a Commons statement on the case on Monday.

Tributes were paid over the weekend to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (Picture: PA)

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 which 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.’

It comes as the Government announced a major review to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur in the months before he was murdered.

The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will lead the review and will provide additional support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to ‘upgrade’ the already existing local review which was launched shortly after Arthur’s death in June 2020.

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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