Monster stepmum Emma Tustin 'poisoned with salt by cellmates' in revenge for torturing tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, 6

MONSTER stepmum Emma Tustin was poisoned with salt by her cellmates in revenge for torturing tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, it has been claimed.

The 32-year-old was caged for life with a minimum of 29 years after being convicted of murdering her six-year-old stepson.

​​His dad Thomas Hughes, 29, was also caged for 21 years after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Tustin's former cellmate has now claimed inmates laced the vile stepmum's meals with salt after learning of the horrific abuse she inflicted upon Arthur.

The little boy had been poisoned by the sick couple as they subjected him to a "campaign of cruelty" that matched the “medical definition of child torture.”

The "off the charts" levels of salt in his body were so high that medics believed their equipment was broken.

In the hours before he was fatally attacked, Arthur had eaten at least 34g of salt – the equivalent of six spoons worth.

Chillingly, he was so weak from the poisoning that he couldn't even put up a fight against Tustin when she battered him.

It has now been revealed prisoners gave Tustin a taste of her own medicine by spiking her meals with salt at Eastwood Park Prison in Gloucestershire.

Her former cellmate of six weeks, Emma, told The Sunday Mirror: "Some of the things we did were cruel – but she was crueller to Arthur so she deserved it."

She also said that the cowardly step-mum lied to inmates, claiming she was in prison because Arthur’s dad Hughes "neglected" his son.

"Emma hadn’t said anything about Arthur dying. She never mentioned him."

She said the 32-year-old only "felt sorry for herself" but would "laugh and joke" on the phone despite facing trial for torturing the youngster.

"One day she came back from a plea hearing and was upset, so I asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ 

“She said, ‘He didn’t look at me, Tom never looked at me’. That was the only time I saw her upset about anything.”

Elaine, who had been recalled to jail for battery and criminal damage, claims she only found out the truth about Tustin’s sickening crimes when she found her case paperwork in their cell.

She explained: "We had a fight – it was me more than her.

Some of the things we did were cruel – but she was crueller to Arthur so she deserved it.

"I got angry because I’d read about how he [Arthur] had 130 bruises and I asked how she wouldn’t notice when she gave him a bath.

"She said she just used to give him a towel. I pressed the bell and said if the prison officers didn’t get her out then I’d be staying there a long time."

Tustin was then moved to a different cell before other lags discovered she had callously poisoned Arthur with salt.

The six-year-old was isolated, poisoned and starved in his final months before twisted Tustin’s fatal attack where she banged his head 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.

During the trial, the court heard that the sick Tustin had tried to take an overdose and attempted to hang herself to avoid facing punishment for murdering tragic Arthur.

Her solicitor, Mary Prior QC, described her as a “high suicide risk” and added that she had been “obliged to terminate a pregnancy.”

Tustin was pregnant with Hughes' baby when she violently attacked Arthur, undergoing an abortion in custody at 21 weeks.

Mr Justice Mark Walll QC slammed the pair as he jailed them, saying the case was "without doubt one of the most distressing and disturbing" he has ever dealt with.

He said: "This cruel and inhuman treatment of Arthur was a deliberate decision by you to brush off his cries for help as naughtiness."


Addressing Tustin, he continued: "You are a manipulative woman who will tell any lie, and shift the blame onto anyone, to save your own skin."

The judge said she did not want to be "troubled" by Arthur any more and branded Hughes' encouragement as "chilling".

The shameless stepmum refused to leave her cell to face justice for her campaign of horror on the youngster.

An urgent national review has been launched into the murder of the little boy after social services turned a blind eye to the abuse he suffered.

The government has launched a major review into the circumstances leading up to Arthur's death to determine what improvements need to be made by the agencies that came into contact with him in the months before he died.

The government has separately commissioned four inspectorates, covering social care, health, police and probation to undertake an urgent inspection of the safeguarding agencies in Solihull to whom Arthur was known.

The independent, national review will also identify the lessons that must be learnt from Arthur’s case for the benefit of other children.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has said ministers are determined to see what lessons can be learned from the youngster's cruel murder.

It is also likely to consider whether guidelines should be put in place to help protect at-risk youngsters in the event of future national lockdowns.

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