Six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes says 'no-one loves me' as dad and partner accused of murder

A six-year-old boy who died while in the care of his father and his partner was recorded saying "no-one loves me" while crying, a murder trial has heard.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was found unresponsive at a home in Cranmore Road, Shirley in Solihull, on June 16 last year.

Jurors at Coventry Crown Court were also told that Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes and his partner Emma Tustin, who both deny murder, took turns to shout at the youngster "like a game of tennis" as he was made to stand facing a door.

Hughes, 29, and Tustin, 32, are accused of mistreating Arthur before he suffered an "unsurvivable" brain injury at his home in the West Midlands.

Arthur died in hospital in the early hours of the following day.

Arthur appeared to be 'skeletal' on the day before he was fatally injured, jury hears

Giving evidence on the sixth day of the couple’s trial, Tustin’s hairdresser, Catherine Milhench, said she wished she had called police after seeing Arthur on June 15 and 16.

Ms Milhench, who works from home and first cut Tustin’s hair in the summer of 2019, said she met Arthur later that year and he seemed “absolutely fine, healthy, a normal boy”.

Describing a hair appointment at her home in February 2020, Ms Milhench said of Arthur: “He was still, I would say, healthy-looking but not happy.

“He was made to sit down (at a child’s table and chair) with his hands on his knees and not move.”

Witness describes her view of Arthur as ' he couldn't hold himself up'

When asked for her view of Arthur’s state during the visit, Ms Milhench said: “Deteriorated. You could see his collar bones. He was wearing a pyjama onesie and you could just see his collar bones sticking out.

“I didn’t remember that from last time. He had lost weight.”

Using the phrase “like skeletal” to describe what Arthur’s condition made her think of, Ms Milhench said the boy appeared to be drained and weak, adding: “It wasn’t nice to see.

“His legs trying to walk up the stairs would be shaking, like he couldn’t hold himself up.”

Hughes and Tustin have both pleaded not guilty to murder. Tustin has admitted one count of child cruelty but has denied further charges of the same offence.

Hughes also denies child cruelty offences.

The trial is being held at Coventry Crown Court, which has been played recordings of Arthur crying and calling for his nanny and uncle.