Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Grieving grandfather says couple must never leave prison
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is due to make a Commons statement on the case on Monday
The grandfather of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has said the couple behind his murder “must never see the light of day again”.
Stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old’s murder, while his father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.
Peter Halcrow, 61, the maternal grandfather of Arthur, 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.
His comments come as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is due to make a Commons statement on the case on Monday.
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 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.”
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.
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.
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”.