Boy, six, 'murdered by father and stepmother died when he was slammed with ...

Boy, six, 'murdered by father and stepmother died when he was slammed with ...
Boy, six, 'murdered by father and stepmother died when he was slammed with ...

A boy allegedly murdered by his father and stepmother in a 'campaign of cruelty' died after being shaken and slammed with 'very severe force', a court heard.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, was killed after suffering months of systematic abuse 'designed to terrorise' the youngster, prosecutors claim.

Emma Tustin, 32, and Thomas Hughes, 29, allegedly poisoned Arthur with salt, deprived him of food and forced the boy to stand for hours on end in a hallway.

The Birmingham City fan died with 'unsurvivable brain injuries' on June 17, 2020, a day after being allegedly attacked by Tustin at home near Solihull, West Midlands.

She allegedly carried out the fatal assault and fetched her phone immediately afterwards to photograph Arthur as he lay dying in the hallway.

Tustin and Hughes deny murder and multiple counts of child cruelty.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (pictured with his father Thomas Hughes), six, was killed after suffering months of systematic abuse 'designed to terrorise' the youngster, prosecutors claim

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes (pictured with his father Thomas Hughes), six, was killed after suffering months of systematic abuse 'designed to terrorise' the youngster, prosecutors claim 

The Birmingham City fan died with 'unsurvivable brain injuries' on June 17, 2020, a day after being allegedly attacked by Tustin (pictured) at home near Solihull, West Midlands

The Birmingham City fan died with 'unsurvivable brain injuries' on June 17, 2020, a day after being allegedly attacked by Tustin (pictured) at home near Solihull, West Midlands

A brain expert who examined Arthur after his death told how the boy died from an 'abusive inflicted injury'.

Giving evidence at Coventry Crown Court, consultant neuropathologist Dr Daniel DuPlessis said: 'What happened here was forceful gripping, a shaking-type act and the head being slammed once or more than once against a firm surface and I think an average woman could do that, physically at least.'

Prosecutors allege youngster was subjected to months of cruelty by Hughes and Tustin which matched the 'medical definition of child torture'.

In a 999 call made after Arthur was found unresponsive, Tustin claimed his head injuries were self-inflicted.

She claimed he had 'banged his head while on the floor on all fours'. But Dr DuPlessis said the chances of Arthur causing himself fatal head injuries were 'inconceivable'.

He said: 'There's no case of a child doing that to themselves with a fatal outcome. This would have had to generate very substantial force, it would involve quite a degree of pain.'

A brain expert who examined Arthur (pictured with his father) after his death told how the boy died from an 'abusive inflicted injury'

A brain expert who examined Arthur (pictured with his father) after his death told how the boy died from an 'abusive inflicted injury'

Asked what the 'likely event' was that caused Arthur's (pictured) collapse, Dr DuPlessis replied: 'It would have been a non-accidental head injury

Asked what the 'likely event' was that caused Arthur's (pictured) collapse, Dr DuPlessis replied: 'It would have been a non-accidental head injury

Asked what the 'likely event' was that caused Arthur's collapse, Dr DuPlessis replied: 'It would have been a non-accidental head injury.

'There would have been third-party involvement that would have involved his head being brought into motion with very severe force, causing it to move backwards and forwards repeatedly, with an impact involved in that as well.'

Dr DuPlessis said Arthur died after his injured brain was starved of oxygen. He was also found to have multiple brain bleeds and bleeding in both eyes.

He added:

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