After months of torture, Arthur Labinjo-Hughes suffered a ‘unsurvivable brain damage’ in June 2020, Coventry Crown Court heard.
At Coventry Crown Court, audio excerpts of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ frantic screams for assistance were played to jurors. His father, Thomas Hughes, 29, and step-mother, Emma Tustin, 32, are accused of his murder.
After months of torture, including being malnourished and ‘poisoned’ with salt, Arthur was left with ‘unsurvivable brain damage’ in June 2020, according to reports.
According to the court, Tustin took a photograph of Arthur as he lay dying in the hallway of her house in Solihull, West Midlands.
The alleged mistreatment, according to prosecutor Jonas Hankin, QC, was comparable to the ‘medical definition of torture.’
In audio clips discovered on Tustin’s phone, Arthur was heard screaming out, ‘I want to go to nannyâ€™ and â€˜no one loves me, no oneâ€™s going to feed me today.’
She is alleged to have taped over 200 files of the six-year-old in different states of anguish, including one in which he begged his uncle Blake to assist him, asking, ‘Please help me, help me, uncle, theyâ€™re not feeding me, I need some food and a drink.’
On the day of his death, June 16, last year, one witness said the formerly joyful and healthy kid seemed ‘broken.’
While Hughes and Tustin were in another room, Arthur ‘secretly’ begged for a sip of water, and the witness had to bring the glass to the boy’s lips because he was ‘too weak to hold it himself.’
Neither of them can even come close to justifying what they did to him. Arthur was a defenceless youngster who was completely reliant on them for his survival.
Arthur became a target for mockery, abuse, and systematic brutality meant to inflict him severe physical and mental pain for reasons that are inexplicable.
Hughes and Tustin deny all charges of murder and cruelty to children.
The trial is still ongoing, and more evidence will be heard next week.