Murdered Arthur’s evil stepmother is ‘poisoned with salt in prison’

Child killer Emma Tustin who tortured her stepson to death has had her meals laced with salt by her cellmates in revenge for the abuse she carried out on the six-year-old before she battered him to death, it has been claimed.

The 32-year-old was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years on Friday after she was convicted of murdering six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes at her home in Solihull, West Midlands.

His father, Thomas Hughes, was also jailed for 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter for encouraging the killing, including by sending a text message to Tustin hours before the fatal assault telling her ‘just end him’.

As it was revealed the Government will launch a major review into his death, Tustin’s former cellmate has now claimed that inmates housed with Tustin at Eastwood Park Prison laced her meals with salt as revenge for the horrific abuse she inflicted on Arthur.

Meanwhile, the devastated grandfather of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has said ‘no punishment could be enough’ for the youngster’s evil killers as he reconsiders his opposition to the death penalty.

Peter Halcrow, 61, of Dunkeld, Perthshire, said Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes have ‘forfeited their right to live’ and should ‘never see the light of day again’ following his beloved grandsons horrific death.

Through a harrowing nine-week trial at Coventry Crown Court, it was revealed Tustin forced Arthur to consume ‘an absolute minimum’ of 34 grams of salt hours before she battered him to death.

The trial heard Arthur was found to have the equivalent of six teaspoons of salt in his blood, leading to hospital readings which were ‘off the scale’.

Analysis of Arthur’s blood upon his admission to hospital recorded sodium levels between 180 and 187.2 millimoles per litre (mmol/L) – a normal range of sodium is around 140 mmol/L.

Children’s kidney consultant Dr Malcolm Coulthard said the results indicated a ‘massive dose’ of salt was given to the boy and that poisoning was the only available diagnosis.

He calculated that Arthur must have consumed 34g of salt as an ‘absolute minimum’ to record a reading of above 180 mmol/L.

The trial was told that the reading could only be explained by ingesting large quantities of salt in the hours before he was taken to hospital.

As a response to the abuse, Tustin’s cellmates have been spiking her meals with salt at Eastwood Park Prison, it has been claimed.

Her former cellmate, Elaine Pritchard, told the Sunday Mirror: ‘Some of the things we did were cruel – but she was crueller to Arthur so she deserved it.’

Elaine spent six weeks locked up with Tustin while she was on remand and also told the newspaper Tustin never mentioned Arthur and instead claimed she was in prison because Hughes had ‘neglected’ his son.

Elaine, who was recalled to prison for battery and criminal damage, told the publication: ‘Emma hadn’t said anything about Arthur dying. She never mentioned him.’

She claimed she only found out about Tustin’s charges after finding her case paperwork, with Elaine saying she grew ‘angry’ after reading about Arthur’s 130 bruises, resulting in the pair having a row.

She said she asked Tustin how she didn’t notice Arthur’s bruising while giving him a bath, to which she alleged Tustin responded that she ‘gave him a towel’.

Elaine, who also gave evidence at Tustin’s trial, added: ‘I pressed the bell and said if the prison officers didn’t get her out then I’d be staying there a long time.’

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