Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was made to stand for 14 hours as part of a draconian punishment regime, as ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman reports
Warning: Some readers may find this article distressing
The woman found guilty of murdering her partner’s six-year-old son tried to blame the young boy for banging his own head on the floor in 999 calls.
Emma Tustin, 32, will be sentenced on Friday along with Arthur Labinjo-Hughes's father, Thomas Hughes, 29, after he was found guilty of his son’s manslaughter.
On June 16 2020, Tustin carried out the fatal assault while in sole care of Arthur at her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull.
She then took 12 minutes to call 999, after ringing Hughes, before lying to medics that Arthur "fell and banged his head and while on the floor banged his head another five times."
'I’ve seen the lump in the head and what he’s done to himself' Tustin tells call operators
During that call, she said: “He threw himself on the floor, he’s headbutting the floor, I’m trying to pick him up in the process he’s headbutting me in the process.”
She added: “I’ve seen the lump in the head and what he’s done to himself.”
In police bodycam footage, Tustin even claimed Arthur had “smashed the house to pieces” recently and had “battered” his father.
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It was the culmination of "systematic, cruel behaviour" of "physical and psychological" abuse in the weeks before his death, Coventry Crown Court heard.
Hughes has also been found guilty of mistreating Arthur by forced standing and isolating him in the family home and from extended family.
'He's smashed the house to pieces' Tustin tells police
Both were also found guilty of physically and verbally intimidating the child.
Jurors also convicted Tustin of two counts of child cruelty, including salt-poisoning and withholding food and drink from Arthur.
Tustin had already admitted two other cruelty counts; wilfully assaulting Arthur on three occasions and isolating him, including by forcing him to stand in the hallway for up to 14 hours a day as part of a draconian punishment regime.
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Hughes, who had denied any wrongdoing, was also convicted of the cruelty offences which Tustin had admitted – but cleared of withholding food and drink, or of poisoning his own son with salt.
Jurors took six hours and 15 minutes to deliver verdicts, and afterwards held a minute’s silence in Arthur’s memory.
An independent review is now under way into the authorities’ contact with Arthur before his death.