Dad accused of killing Arthur Lanbinjo-Hughes told neighbour to ignore 'please don't kill me' cries

A dad accused of killing his six-year-old boy told a neighbour to ignore his son pleading 'please don't kill me', a murder trial has heard.

Thomas Hughes went to his neighbour's home around two weeks prior to the day when Arthur Labinjo-Hughes collapsed of fatal injuries next door at Cranmore Road, Shirley, the court heard.

Giving evidence to the jury at Coventry Crown Court on Thursday, Hughes' neighbour Mary-Anne Smith said: "He was polite.

"I said 'you okay?'.

"He said 'if you hear my son saying please don't kill me, he's got issues, he suffers from ADHD or autism'.

"I said, 'don't worry to be honest I didn't hear anything.'"

"I said 'my children are the same, they say things'. I was nice to him, he was nice to me."

Hughes, aged 29, and his then girlfriend Emma Tustin, 32, deny murdering Arthur as well as multiple counts of child cruelty.

Thomas Hughes (left), Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (centre) and Emma Tustin (right)

It is alleged they subjected him to a 'campaign' of systematic abuse during the period between the beginning of the first lockdown last year up until he collapsed on June 16.

Ms Smith also recalled hearing Tustin shouting through the 'thin' walls saying 'face the wall'.

She told the court she also heard a man 'roaring' and 'swearing' saying 'f****** stop'.

Ms Smith claimed Tustin had a 'vendetta' against her which she assumedwas down to the fact Tustin's partner spoke to her.

The court also heard from Thomas's brother Daniel Hughes.

He confirmed he did not like Tustin and recalled an incident when she 'snapped' at Arthur in a 'cold, aggressive' tone which was 'full of contempt'.

Mr Hughes said he warned his brother that if he stayed with Tustin she would 'make Arthur miserable'.

He told the court on April 18 last year he contacted police expressing concerns for Arthur's welfare and sent them photographs of the boy's bruises but they never contacted him back.

Cranmore Road in Shirley

Mr Hughes said he and his family tried to find his brother Thomas to speak to him but were later warned by police if they went to Tustin's home again they would be arrested.

Detective Constable Cameron Bennett also took to the witness box. He was at Birmingham Children's Hospital on June 16.

He recalled that Hughes said: "I smack, clip, I do clip him around the legs. Then I spend an hour sitting in the shower crying about it."

"He tested me last night I gave him a smack on the legs."

DC Bennett told the court when consultants spoke to Hughes about Arthur's grave condition he said 'it's all my fault, it's all my fault' before telling a doctor to apologise to his son on his behalf.

Flower tributes lay in Cranmore Road in Shirley Credit: BPM Media

The prosecution has previously told the jury that Hughes 'encouraged' violence towards his son but it was Tustin who inflicted the fatal attack on Arthur while Hughes was at the shops.

The pair have also been accused of subjecting the boy to 'systematic abuse' including forcing him to remain in the hallway for up to 14 hours a day, physical assaults, depriving him of water, intimidation and salt poisoning.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to murder. Tustin has admitted one child cruelty offence but has denied three further counts. Hughes denies all four counts.

The trial continues.