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An “instinctively cruel” stepmother convicted of murdering her partner’s six-year-old son has been threatened and assaulted in prison by fellow inmates.
Emma Tustin, 32, was sentenced unanimously by Coventry Crown Court on Thursday for the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
His partner and Arthur’s father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was convicted of manslaughter after his son suffered “insurmountable brain injury” at Tustin’s home at Cranmore Road in Solihull on June 16, 2020.
Tustin was also convicted of poisoning Arthur by force-feeding him salty meals, Hughes was cleared of a similar charge.
It has since emerged that Tustin – described as “mean” by Arthur’s grandmother – had been “thrown salt” at her by other inmates while on remand at HMP Peterborough for her trail, said a source in the criminal justice system.
A spokesperson for HMP Peterborough said: “We do not comment on individual prisoners.”
Bernard Richmond QC, defending Hughes, had previously revealed “disturbing” characteristics about Tustin’s personality.
He told jurors: “I’m afraid when you think about it and analyze the evidence and the way she behaved towards Arthur, the conclusion you can come to, the word you are looking for, is evil. .
“She is, as you will see one last time, manipulative, controlling, she uses emotional blackmail, she does all she can to control the narrative, get her side of things first and control the way people think. .
Mr Richmond continued, “She’s aggressive, she’s not just physically aggressive, she’s intellectually aggressive. She makes a point and continues to do and do it.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes suffered “insurmountable brain injury” in June 2020 (Image: PA)
Haunting video footage shows the moment he struggled to lift a light comforter and stand a few hours before his death.
Hughes, of Solihull, has been charged with instigating the murder, including texting Tustin 18 hours before the fatal assault telling him ‘just stop it’.
Prosecutors claimed the couple waged a “campaign of cruelty” amounting to “torture” against Arthur, in which he was force-fed with salty meals, isolated at home, starved, dehydrated and regularly beaten.