Susanna Reid in tears as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ grandmother gives emotional tribute to murdered six-year-old

·3-min read

Susanna Reid broke down in tears as the grandmother of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes gave a heartbreaking account of the abuse the murdered six-year-old suffered in the months leading to his death.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 50, wiped away tears as Arthur’s maternal grandmother Madeleine Halcrow paid tribute to “the happy-go-lucky” child who had “lost the sparkle in his eyes”.

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 Arthur’s murder.

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter for the role he played in his son’s death.

Stepmother Emma Tustin and father Thomas Hughes were sentenced on Friday (ES Composite)
Stepmother Emma Tustin and father Thomas Hughes were sentenced on Friday (ES Composite)

Describing her grandson, Ms Halcrow said: “Arthur was the happiest child, he was very much loved by everyone.

“He was my daughter’s baby bear and he was my sunny delight. He was always happy... He was gentle, caring, compassionate, he had a wicked sense of humour. He was just adorable”.

But Ms Halcrow said when she last saw him before he died, on her birthday, the once “happy-go-lucky” boy she knew had “lost the sparkle in his eyes”.

Ms Reid, a mother-of-three herself, could be heard crying as Ms Halcrow detailed her attempts to ask social services to rescue Arthur who believes there were missed opportunties to save the schoolboy.

A court heard how Arthur was subjected to a prolonged campaign of “evil abuse” which saw him starved, beaten and poisoned with salt-laden food before his death in Solihull, West Midlands, in June last year.

Watch: Whole country ‘distraught’ over Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’s murder, says education minister

Arthur’s grandmother broke down in tears as she described seeing marks on the little boy’s back and “imagined the pain Arthur would have been in receiving those bruises”.

After being called by another member of the family, Ms Halcrow said she was sent photographs of bruises on her grandson’s back.

She told Good Morning Britain: “Straight away I said those are non-accidental injuries.”

Ms Halcrow believed the marks on his back to be caused by being hit with something or being pushed against something.

She started to cry as she said: “There’s new bruises on top of old which tells me this has been going on. There was yellow bruises, there was purple bruises all over.

“I’d just seen them and imagined the pain Arthur would have been in.”

Madeleine Halcrow gave her first TV interview since Arthur’s death (Good Morning Britain / ITV)
Madeleine Halcrow gave her first TV interview since Arthur’s death (Good Morning Britain / ITV)

Ms Halcrow said she called social services only to be told they had been to see him the day before and “didn’t find anything untoward” in either his or his carers’ behaviour.

The authorities have since been accused of missing at least four opportunities to save Arthur having ignored pleas from his wider family to rescue him.

Ms Halcrow said she felt her grandson had been let down by social services.

She added: “I am angry with the inter-agencies because somewhere along the line communication hasn’t been passed along.

“Something is broken in this system and something needs fixing.”

His family said lockdown exacerbated the problems, with schools closed and social worker visits done on Zoom leaving vulnerable children alone all day every day with those tormenting them.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was murdered by his stepmother (Family Handout/PA) (PA Media)
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was murdered by his stepmother (Family Handout/PA) (PA Media)

Ms Halcrow is now calling for “life to mean life” in cases of child neglect and murder.

She continued: “They took Arthur’s life. And he’s not going to get his life back, or have children of his own. They’ve took him from my daughter.

“There was no remorse, no sympathy shown. Absolutely depraved, tortuous, sadistic, evil, calculating people. They’ll never go to heaven. They’ll burn in hell.”

The Attorney General’s Office has confirmed the sentences will be reviewed.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi confirmed in the Commons on Monday a national review and targeted inspection will take place to assess why things went “horrifyingly wrong and what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again”.

Watch: PM: 'Leave no stone unturned' in Arthur Labinjo-Hughes case

Read More

Sturgeon warns of ‘significant risks’ of Omicron after tenfold rise in cases

Relief as electricity restored after 10 days following Storm Arwen

Asda distribution workers to vote on strike

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting