The jail sentences handed to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, who killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes have been referred to the Court of Appeal for being too lenient, Attorney General Suella Braverman has announced.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of his father’s “evil” partner, 32-year-old Emma Tustin.
She was jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years at Coventry Crown Court on December 3, after being convicted of murder by assaulting defenceless Arthur in the hallway of her Cranmore Road home in Solihull on June 16, 2020.
Arthur, whose body was also covered in 130 bruises, died in hospital the next day.
“Manipulative” and “calculating” Tustin was unanimously convicted after an eight-week trial trial, with the boy’s “pitiless” father Thomas Hughes, 29, found guilty of his manslaughter, after encouraging the killing.
Hughes’ “infatuation” for Tustin had “obliterated” any love for his son, sentencing judge Mr Justice Mark Wall QC said, and jailed him for 21 years.
Referring the case to the Court of Appeal, Ms Braverman said: “This is an extremely upsetting and disturbing case, involving a clearly vulnerable young child.
“Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes grossly abused their position of trust and subjected an innocent child, who they should have been protecting to continued emotional and physical abuse.
“I understand how distressing the public have found this case, but it is my job to decide if a sentence appears to be unduly lenient based on the facts of the case.
“I have carefully considered the details of this case, and I have decided to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal as I believe them to be too low.”
A date for the hearing at the Court of Appeal is yet to be set.