Arthur Labinjo-Hughes death: Government confirms major review into murder of six-year-old boy

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Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 29 years

The Government has confirmed there will be a major review into the circumstances which led to the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

It aims to determine what improvements need to be made to the agencies that came into contact with the child in the months before he was murdered by his stepmother, Emma Tustin.

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Tustin, 32, was found guilty of Arthur’s murder at Coventry Crown Court on 3 December and and was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 29 years.

The boy’s father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

At a glance: 5 key points:

  • Arthur had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.
  • The review will be led by the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, who will also provide support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to help to upgrade the existing local review.
  • A targeted area inspection will be commissioned and led jointly by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services and HM Inspectorate of Probation to consider improvements needed by all agencies who protect vulnerable children in Solihull, and how they work together.
  • Tustin and Hughes’ sentences are to be reviewed to assess whether they are too lenient. The Attorney General’s Office has 28 days from the date of sentence to review the case and make a decision about whether it goes to the Court of Appeal.
  • A vigil is being held by neighbours on Sunday 5 December, who will gather outside the front of Tustin’s former address, where Arthur was killed.

What has been said about the review into Arthur’s case?

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he was “deeply distressed by this awful case” which has “shocked and appalled the nation”.

Explaining the aims of the review, he said: “I have taken immediate action and asked for a joint inspection to consider where improvements are needed by all the agencies tasked with protecting children in Solihull, so that we can be assured that we are doing everything in our power to protect other children and prevent such evil crimes.”

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“We are determined to protect children from harm and where concerns are raised we will not hesitate to take urgent and robust action,” he added.

Asked about the review on Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said that we need to see “what lessons we can learn”.

He said: “I do think we have got to make sure a more precautionary approach which looks at the risk to those particularly vulnerable young children and see what more we can do to read those early signs earlier and better.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to leave “absolutely no stone unturned” to establish what went wrong.

Speaking on 3 December during a campaign visit in Shropshire, said it was essential to learn lessons and to work out what else could have been done to protect the child.

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