Arthur Labinjo-Hughes murder report calls for ‘urgent action’ to protect children in same borough

Emma Tustin, Arthur's step-mother, is having her 29-year jail term reviewed

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A council inspected after the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes makes “over-optimistic” decisions on safeguarding in a significant minority of cases which lack professional curiosity, a report has found.

Emma Tustin, who was convicted of murder and her partner Thomas Hughes was found guilty of the manslaughter of his six-year-old son Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, after cruelly abusing him before his death.
Emma Tustin, who was convicted of murder and her partner Thomas Hughes was found guilty of the manslaughter of his six-year-old son Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, after cruelly abusing him before his death.

A joint targeted area inspection of child protection services in Solihull called for by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi in December 2021 found that children in need of help and protection in the West Midlands area “wait too long for their initial need and risk to be assessed”.

"Urgent action" is needed to improve services, according to the report.

These findings come following the murder of six-year-old Arthur Lanbinjo-Hughes.

Last year the nation was stunned following revelations about the murder of Arthur. His stepmother Emma Tustin and twisted Dad Thomas Hughes abused the boy routinely.

Tustin murdered him at her home in Shirley, Solihull, in June 2020.

Tustin received a 29-year sentence, whereas Hughes got 21 years for manslaughter.

The Court of Appeal are set to review the "lenient" jail terms.

The Joint Targeted Area Inspection launched in December has investigated how various organisations work together to protect their young people.

The Local Safeguarding Children Partnership in Solihull received stark findings in the wake of the inspection after Arthur's killing.

Solihull Council leader, Councillor Ian Courts, said prior to the release of the report: "None of us, either here in Solihull or across the nation, can be anything but appalled and shocked by Arthur’s murder.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with his father Thomas Hughes and Thomas' partner Emma Tustin.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with his father Thomas Hughes and Thomas' partner Emma Tustin.

"On Monday, Solihull’s Local Safeguarding Children Partnership will receive the findings from the recent Joint Targeted Area Inspection.

"This was triggered by the court case concerning the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes who was killed by those we expected to love and care for him.

"The inspection was not about the circumstances of Arthur’s death - that is being dealt with by a National Panel Review ordered by the Secretary of State for Education.

"It was focused on how organisations in Solihull work together to prevent harm to children and young people in the borough."