Tory MP backs death penalty for little Arthur's killers

Tory MP backs death penalty for little Arthur's killers
Tory MP backs death penalty for little Arthur's killers

A Tory MP today insisted that the killers of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes deserve the death penalty for such an 'evil and barbaric' crime.

Scott Benton, Conservative for Blackpool South, says he has been inundated with emails from constituents calling for the 'ultimate punishment' for Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes. 

Mr Benton, who has asked for their sentences to be reviewed, says he is '100%' in favour of the death penalty in cases such as Arthur's murder.

He said: 'If it were up to me I would bring back the death penalty in a small number of cases. I'm not afraid to say that and that's the view favoured by the majority of the British people.

'My email inbox has been full of people expressing their disgust at this particularly evil and barbaric case'. He added that the Government wants more whole life sentences and 'I completely agree with that'. 

Mr Benton's claims that the public backs the death penalty for Arthur's killers has been confirmed by a new poll.  

YouGov has said that 52 per cent of Britons support the death penalty for the murder of a child, while 36 per cent oppose it. The remaining 12 per cent don't know.   

Child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will never been released from prison under proposals backed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 'Arthur's Law' would see anyone who carries out the murder of a child sent to prison indefinitely.

The Prime Minister said in 2019: 'I don't myself support the death penalty. But I think what the people of this country do want to see is proper sentencing for serious violence and sexual offenders'.

Emma Tustin, 32

Thomas Hughes, 29

Emma Tustin, 32, and Thomas Hughes, 29 murdered Arthur and deserve the death penalty, a Tory MP said today

Scott Benton, Conservative for Blackpool South, says he has been inundated with emails from constituents calling for the 'ultimate punishment' for the couple

Scott Benton, Conservative for Blackpool South, says he has been inundated with emails from constituents calling for the 'ultimate punishment' for the couple

Tens of thousands of 'ghost children' are at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdowns, senior MP Robert Halfon warned yesterday. Above: Murdered six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Tens of thousands of 'ghost children' are at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdowns, senior MP Robert Halfon warned yesterday. Above: Murdered six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

YouGov has said that 52 per cent of Britons support the death penalty for the murder of a child, while 36 per cent oppose it. The remaining 12 per cent don't know

YouGov has said that 52 per cent of Britons support the death penalty for the murder of a child, while 36 per cent oppose it. The remaining 12 per cent don't know

'Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison, so we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes,' Mr Johnson told The Sun

Mr Halfon told MPs: 'There are 100,000 what I call the ghost children, who are lost in the system and who haven't returned to school for the most time, who are subject to potential safeguarding hazards, county lines gangs, online harm and, of course, awful domestic abuse

Mr Halfon told MPs: 'There are 100,000 what I call the ghost children, who are lost in the system and who haven't returned to school for the most time, who are subject to potential safeguarding hazards, county lines gangs, online harm and, of course, awful domestic abuse

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of 'ghost children' are at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdowns, a senior MP warned.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons education committee, said 100,000 pupils were 'lost in the system' and therefore vulnerable to cruelty at home.

His warning came as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed there will be an investigation into the failings leading to the death of Arthur. 

The boy's stepmother, Emma Tustin, was jailed last week for at least 29 years for his murder, while his father, Thomas Hughes, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

It emerged in court that Arthur was seen by social workers during the first national lockdown just two months before his death in Solihull, West Midlands, in June last year. But they concluded there were 'no safeguarding concerns' and closed the file.

The smiling killers of little Arthur Labinjo-Hughes shared pictures of themselves relaxing in a hot tub as the youngster was forced to stand for hours in the hallway

The smiling killers of little Arthur Labinjo-Hughes shared pictures of themselves relaxing in a hot tub as the youngster was forced to stand for hours in the hallway

Boris Johnson wants child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes to never be released from prison

Boris Johnson wants child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes to never be released from prison

Mr Halfon told MPs: 'There are 100,000 what I call the ghost children, who are lost in the system and who haven't returned to school for the most time, who are subject to potential safeguarding hazards, county lines gangs, online harm and, of course, awful domestic abuse.' 

Mr Halfon asked Mr Zahawi to make a 'real effort to work with the local authorities, to work with the schools and the regional commissioners to make sure that those 100,000 children who are mostly not in school are returned to school and are being watched by those authorities when they need to be watched'.

Mr Zahawi replied: 'It is a concerning issue and it is a focus for my department.'

Susanna Reid cries as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' grandmother breaks down in tears on GMB while condemning police and social service for failing him as PM backs calls for new 'Arthur's law'

Susanna Reid cried on live TV today as the grandmother of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes sobbed while describing the abuse the little boy suffered before he was murdered by his monstrous step-mother after being egged on to 'end him' by his evil father.

Ms Reid, 50, a mother of three herself, wiped away tears as Madeleine Halcrow spoke about her own grief and the attempts to ask social services to save the six-year-old schoolboy killed in Solihull in June last year. 

Susanna could also be heard crying loudly off camera as Madeleine spoke, and tears rolled down the star's face as she passed a box of tissues to Arthur's heartbroken maternal grandmother on Good Morning Britain this morning.

In Ms Halcrow's first TV studio appearance since Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes were jailed, she discussed the opportunities to save Arthur that were missed, and cried as she described seeing marks on his back and 'imagining the pain Arthur would have been in receiving those bruises'.

She called social services only to be told they had been to see him the day before and 'didn't find anything untoward'. The authorities have since been accused of missing at least four opportunities to save Arthur having ignored pleas from his family to rescue him. Lockdown exacerbated the problems, with schools closed and social worker visits done on Zoom leaving vulnerable children all over the UK alone all day every day with those tormenting them.  

Arthur would later be battered to death by his feckless stepmother Tustin, who was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years on Friday after she was convicted of murdering six-year-old at her home in the West Midlands.

His father, Thomas Hughes, was also jailed for 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter for encouraging the killing, including by sending a text message to Tustin hours before the fatal assault telling her 'just end him'. 

Madeleine's daughter Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, Arthur's biological mother, was sentenced to 11 years in jail for stabbing her lover to death - leaving the tragic six-year-old at the mercy of his evil father and stepmother. 

Today Olivia's father Peter, Arthur's maternal grandfather who is no longer in a relationship with Madeleine, has claimed other warnings from family members were 'not acted on' as he campaigned for 'Arthur's Law', which would see anyone who carries out the murder of a child sent to prison indefinitely. 

As millions grieve Arthur's tragic death, it also emerged today:

Child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will never been released from prison under proposals backed by the Prime Minister; Campaigners say schools must not be shut down because of Covid again to protect vulnerable youngsters with tens of thousands of 'ghost children' at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdowns;    Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed there will be an investigation into the failings leading to the death of Arthur, including the missed chances to save him after social services were contacted;

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was killed by his step-mother Emma Tustin at her home in Solihull

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was killed by his step-mother Emma Tustin at her home in Solihull

Susanna Reid broke down as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' grandmother Madeleine Halcrow broke down on Good Morning Britain as she recalled how she tried to save her grandson

Susanna Reid broke down as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' grandmother Madeleine Halcrow (pictured) broke down on Good Morning Britain as she recalled how she tried to save her grandson

Susanna Reid broke down (left) as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' grandmother Madeleine Halcrow (right) broke down on Good Morning Britain as she recalled how she tried to save her grandson

Madeleine with her beloved son Arthur, whose death has appalled and saddened millions of Britons and more around the world

Madeleine with her beloved son Arthur, whose death has appalled and saddened millions of Britons and more around the world

Boris backs 'Arthur's law': Child killers like step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old would NEVER be released

Child killers like the step-mother and father of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will never been released from prison under proposals backed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

'Arthur's Law' would see anyone who carries out the murder of a child sent to prison indefinitely.

'Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison, so we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes,' Mr Johnson told The Sun.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of 'ghost children' are at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdowns, a senior MP warned.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons education committee, said 100,000 pupils were 'lost in the system' and therefore vulnerable to cruelty at home.

His warning came as Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed there will be an investigation into the failings leading to the death of Arthur.

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On Good Morning Britain today, his grandmother Madeleine Halcrow made her first television appearance to discuss the opportunities to save Arthur that were missed.

Co-host Martin Lewis asked: 'Arthur's paternal grandmother got in touch with you didn't she about the bruises?'

Madeline, who is a nurse, explained she was visited by Thomas' mother Joanna Hughes and her husband Chris.

'Joanna said they had found bruises on Arthur,' Madeline explained. 'She showed [me the pictures] and straight away I said, 'Those are non-accidental injures, they are caused by an adult hand.'

'I said, 'On his right shoulder I can see three fingers and his left shoulder that has been caused by being hit with something or being pushed against something.'

'But the most disturbing thing to me and I said this to Chris and Jo, 'There's new bruises on top of old,' Madeline said as she broke down in tears.

It comes as Ms Halcrow said warnings about the treatment of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes were ignored and something in the system responsible for ensuring his safety is broken.

Arthur's stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old's murder.

His father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

The pair showed 'no remorse, no sympathy', Arthur's maternal grandmother said, as she branded them 'depraved, sadistic, torturous, evil, calculating people'.

Madeleine Halcrow, who described her grandson as having been 'the happiest child' before he went to live with his father and stepmother as the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, said she felt anger towards the organisations responsible for monitoring his safety.

In a tearful interview, she told ITV's Good Morning Britain: 'I am angry with the inter agencies because somewhere along the line communication hasn't been passed along. The old adage, 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it'. Well something is broken in this system and something needs fixing.'

 

Little Arthur can FINALLY be laid to rest: Killer father Thomas Hughes agrees to release six-year-old’s body for burial – 18 months after he was murdered, his lawyer says 

By Emer Scully for MailOnline 

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes can finally be laid to rest after his father Thomas agreed to release the six-year-old's body for burial 18 months after he was murdered.

The 29-year-old, who was jailed for 21 years after he was found guilty of manslaughter, had previously been 'passive' but wanted to offer a 'tiny scrap of peace' to Arthur's mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, according to his lawyer.

Earlier this week Arthur's maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told MailOnline her grandson's body remains in the mortuary of Leicester Royal Infirmary - where the post-mortem was carried out 16-months ago - due to a legal dispute over who has the right to lay him to rest. 

The breakthrough comes after a court heard how Arthur's 'wicked' stepmother Emma Tustin and his 'pitiless' father Thomas subjected him to a horrific campaign of 'evil' abuse during the Covid lockdown last year.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, pictured with his 'pitiless' father Thomas Hughes. The 29-year-old, who was jailed for 21 years after he was found guilty of manslaughter, had previously been 'passive' but wanted to offer a 'tiny scrap of peace' to Arthur's mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, pictured with his 'pitiless' father Thomas Hughes. The 29-year-old, who was jailed for 21 years after he was found guilty of manslaughter, had previously been 'passive' but wanted to offer a 'tiny scrap of peace' to Arthur's mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow

Jurors heard that Tustin, 32, violently shook the child and repeatedly banged his head, likely against the hallway wall, at her home in Cranmore Road, Solihull on June 16, 2020.

Bernard Richmond QC, barrister for Hughes told Birmingham Live his client had wanted to leave the issue of Arthur's remains to his and Ms Labinjo-Halcrow's family to resolve - and only stepped in when they could not agree.

Arthur's birth mother Ms Labinjo-Halcrow is in jail after fatally stabbing her lover in a 'drink and drug-fuelled rage' in 2019. Arthur's father Hughes then met Tustin through the Plenty of Fish dating website and fell into her thrall. In March 2020, they moved into Tustin's council house, where Arthur was tortured, poisoned with salt, and eventually beaten to death. 

The six-year-old had suffered 'unsurvivable' brain damage and a total of 130 injuries were found all over his body. He had also been tortured, poisoned with salt and forced to stand on his own for up to 14 hours a day.

Arthur's maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told MailOnline that her grandson's body remains in the mortuary of Leicester Royal Infirmary - where the post-mortem was carried out 16-months ago - due to a legal dispute over who has the right to lay him to rest

Arthur's maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, told MailOnline that her grandson's body remains in the mortuary of Leicester Royal Infirmary - where the post-mortem was carried out 16-months ago - due to a legal dispute over who has the right to lay him to rest

Mr Richmond added: 'I have spoke to him and said this can't go on. He has instructed me to say that Arthur's remains, after a service with his family, must go to his mother's family for her to have a funeral and she must have control of his ashes.

'He does hope he can give Olivia a tiny scrap of peace.'

Meanwhile, Nadhim Zahawi today launched a review of how officials dealt with the case of tragic six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, as he said 'no government can legislate for evil' but ministers would 'take action to stop it whenever we can'. 

The Education Secretary said the review by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will scrutinise the world of Solihull Children's Safeguarding Partnerships, while police and probation inspectors would carry out their own linked inspections.  

Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, Arthur's birth mother

Arthur's birth mother Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow (left) is in jail after fatally stabbing her lover in a 'drink and drug-fuelled rage' in 2019

The action comes after it emerged in court Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were 'no safeguarding concerns'.

The boy's stepmother Tustin was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of his murder, while his father Hughes was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter. 

Mr Zahawi confirmed a review and targeted inspection will take place as part of efforts to assess why things went 'horrifyingly wrong and what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again'.

He told MPs: 'Since the horrendous deaths of Peter Connelly, Daniel Pelka and, sadly, others, the Government has established stronger multi-agency working - putting a shared and equal duty on police, councils and health in local areas to work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, alongside a role for schools.

'I am sure members across the House will recognise that improvements have been made from previous reviews, but

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