TRAGIC Aruthur Labinjo-Hughes can finally have a funeral 18 months after his murder after his jailed dad ended the family “row.”
Arthur was starved, poisoned with salt and eventually beaten to death in June 2020 after being tortured in his final months by Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes.
His mum Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow can now lay the youngster to rest
A probe has been launched into Arthur’s death
But a family “dispute” erupted among his biological relatives over who had the right to lay him to rest following his tragic murder at the hands of his stepmum and dad.
The killer dad has now agreed to release Arthur’s body so he can be buried 18 months after he was murdered.
His lawyer Bernard Richmond QC said Hughes had left the issue of his remains to his family and Arthur’s mum Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, who is in jail for killing her lover.
But due to an alleged family dispute, Arthur’s body is still lying in a hospital mortuary in the Midlands.
Mr Richmond said: “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.”
Family members previously said that the murdered six-year-old’s remains caused a split within the family over where his final resting place should be.
Arthur’s maternal grandmother, Madeleine Halcrow, said earlier that she sought legal advice and she “hoped that we can reach some sort of agreement with the Hughes family – for Arthur’s sake.”
Labinjo-Halcrow told in a victim impact statement how she was “heartbroken” at the thought of her son’s body being stored alone in a cold box.
She wants to bury him in a small quiet funeral in a churchyard in Birmingham.
It comes after football fans around the country clapped for Arthur over the weekend in a touching sixth-minute tribute – one minute for each year of his short life.
Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years for murder.
His “pitiless” dad, 29, was caged for 21 years after being found guilty of manslaughter.
Both sentences have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office, which confirmed they will be reviewed.
It now has has 28 days to assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme and decide whether to refer it to the Court of Appeal.
Judges could then decided to increase the killer pair’s sentences.
‘CRUELTY AND INHUMANITY’
The move has been backed by Arthur’s grandfather Peter Halcrow, who told The Sun: “They must never see the light of day again. No punishment could ever be enough for this pair.
“I have never favoured the death penalty because I know mistakes can be made by courts, but in my view they have forfeited their right to live.
“It will burden taxpayers but, as we don’t have capital punishment, they should certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity.”
The youngster was segregated for 14 hours a day and forced to sleep on the floor in a brutal struggle that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.
He was also poisoned with so much salt he was too weak to even put up a fight against his torturers’ horrific abuse.
On June 16 last year, Tustin repeatedly smashed the youngster’s head against a hard surface causing him to collapse.
He died in hospital the next day from a “head trauma inflicted on him by an adult” consistent with being “vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface”.
Arthur’s frail and skeletal body was covered with 130 bruises and he suffered 93 different areas of injury – including on his head, arms, legs, feet and torso.
Even if just half of the 130 bruises on Arthur’s body were the result of abuse, it would still be a mark for every day he spent being “terrorised” during lockdown.
The injuries were so severe they were likened to those seen in a high-speed car crash.
Chillingly, Arthur’s final months on earth were captured in harrowing audio clips and recordings made by Tustin and Hughes.
Arthur could be heard wailing in one 23-second recording “no one loves me” and “no one is going to feed me”.
Video footage also showed Arthur hours before he died waking up on the living room floor.
The emaciated youngster was said to be so frail he could barely pick up his bedding.
The government has now announced a major review to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur.
It will be led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and will provide additional support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to “upgrade” the already existing local review.
The youngster was starved, poisoned and isolatedCredit: PA
Tustin and Hughes tortured the boy to deathCredit: PA
She was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years
Hughes was caged for 21 years for manslaughterCredit: PA