A DAD and his partner made a list of "time penalties" for how long his son had to sit on a pink naughty chair before he was murdered, a court heard.
Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin, 32, are accused of murdering Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, who suffered an "unsurvivable brain injury".
The youngster was allegedly subjected to a "campaign of cruelty" before his death that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.
His gran Joanne Hughes today told jurors how she discovered a list of "time penalties" in an annexe at her home where the trio were living a the time.
The piece of paper – titled "Chair list" – included a one hour stint on a pink naughty chair if Arthur was "rude to mummy bear" [Tustin].
Other penalties included 20 minutes for a "poor attitude", 40 minutes for being "naughty", ten minutes for "weeing on toilet seat" and ten minutes for "talking like a baby".
A note at the bottom of the list read: "Any additional time accrued on chair such as crying, telling more than once, is extra 10 minutes on top of already set time."
Arthur's death in June 2020 came three months after his father had moved into Tustin's home, Coventry Crown Court was told.
Before the move, the youngster was "cherished by all" and lived a "stable" life with his father and extended family, in an annexe in the garden of Arthur's paternal grandparents.
He had been placed in his dad's care after his mum Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 26, was jailed for 18 years for stabbing her boyfriend to death.
Ms Hughes told jurors today how Arthur had told her Tustin pushed him down the stairs in April last year.
She said: "He said 'Emma grabbed me and pushed my head on the stairs'.
“I asked him to repeat it and he told me that she called him a horrible little brat and she pushed his head and he bumped it on the stairs.”
The gran called social services and offered to send them pictures of Arthur's bruising, but told the court they "didn't want to see them".
Child services eventually saw Arthur but "no concerns were raised", and while photos of the bruises were sent to the police, no further action was taken, it was said.
Shortly after, Arthur and his dad moved in with Tustin at her flat in Shirley, where the youngster was allegedly tortured.
On June 16, Tustin allegedly beat Arthur to death then waited 13 minutes to call 999 and tell them he was "barely breathing" after he "headbutted the floor".
Paramedics arrived at the home to find Arthur "lying on his back, completely lifeless, quite pale with purple lips", it was said.
Arthur died in hospital the next day with a cause of death given as a "head trauma inflicted on him by an adult" consistent with being "vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface".
Doctors found he was poisoned with so much salt he was "unable to put up a fight" before his death, jurors heard.
The court was told the youngster had more than six spoons worth of the substance in his system – the highest level a medic had ever seen.
He was also allegedly "segregated and isolated" for "up to 14 hours a day" and deprived of a bed, food and clothing.
Jurors heard he was covered in bruises from his head to his feet.
He had 93 areas of injury – including on his head, arms, legs, feet and torso – and 25 sites of bruising on his scalp, face, and neck that raised “serious concerns about non-accidental injury”.
The youngster was also found to have 20 areas of bruising on his arms and eight on his chest and stomach, it was said.
Giving evidence, Dr Lyle told jurors: “I’m not sure that outside of obvious traumatic situations I’ve ever seen a child found dead at home with this number of injuries to the head and face.”
The court was told Tustin recorded more than 22 pictures and videos of Arthur in distress.
Jurors have watched CCTV of Tustin tucking into McDonald's while Arthur was left in a hallway for 14 hours and forced to sleep on the floor.
They have also previously heard audio clips Tustin recorded of Arthur sobbing while allegedly being abused.
The youngster can be heard weeping in another recording for his uncle Blake, saying: "Blake no-one loves me, Blake no-one loves me."
He also cried in one clip: "Daddy's going to throw me out the window, daddy's going to throw me out the window, daddy's going to throw me out of the window."
'CAMPAIGN OF CRUELTY'
Tustin and Hughes are accused of multiple counts of child cruelty, after forcing Arthur to endure "systematic, cruel behaviour" of "physical and psychological" abuse in the weeks before his death.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said: "Both defendants participated in a campaign of cruelty intended to cause Arthur significant harm and suffering.
"Violence and intimidation, both physical and verbal, were routine.
“Arthur’s visible injuries, his miserable physical condition and obvious despair provided each defendant with a daily reminder of the lengths to which the other would go to cause him harm.”
Tustin has admitted child cruelty by ill-treating Arthur on multiple occasions by "forcing him to stand, isolating him within the family home, and physically or verbally intimidating him".
Hughes denies a similar charge.
The pair also deny murder and an allegation of child cruelty by administering salt to Arthur between June 1 and 17 last year.
Both are jointly accused of two counts of child cruelty by assault on multiple occasions and also by withholding food and/or drink.
The trial continues.
Source: Read Full Article