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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Safety warnings ignored, says grandfather

Image supply, Family handout

Image caption,

Arthur was described as a cheeky boy, adored by his prolonged household. He was killed by his stepmother and father in June 2020

The killers of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes mustn’t “see the light of day ever again”, his grandfather has stated.

Peter Halcrow advised the BBC the lifetime of a “defenceless, innocent boy” had been misplaced to a “heinous crime”.

He stated the sentences for Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes and stepmother Emma Tustin – for manslaughter and homicide respectively – have been too lenient.

Tustin was jailed on Friday for 29 years and Hughes 21.

Media caption,

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Safety warnings ignored, says grandfather

Tustin delivered a deadly head damage to Arthur at her Solihull residence in June final yr following a marketing campaign of cruelty by the 32-year-old and associate Hughes, 29.

Mr Halcrow – Arthur’s maternal grandfather – stated security considerations raised by the boy’s household and neighbours have been ignored earlier than he died.

He stated warnings from different relations have been “not acted on” by social providers or police.

Social providers had stated there was “nothing to worry about” simply months earlier than Arthur was killed, he added.

Mr Halcrow advised Radio 4’s Today programme that West Midlands Police had additionally been referred to as concerning the state of affairs – however had not stepped in.

Arthur was discovered emaciated and with greater than 130 bruises when he died.

It emerged in the course of the trial that Arthur had been seen by social staff simply two months earlier than the killing, however they concluded there have been “no safeguarding concerns”.

Image supply, Family handout

Image caption,

Arthur had lived along with his mom, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, for many of his life. Peter Halcrow stated they have been joyful

A nationwide investigation into what went incorrect will start subsequent week, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has stated.

He confirmed each a nationwide overview and “targeted area” inspection to evaluate “what more could be done to prevent abuse such as this happening again”.

West Midlands Police has stated it’s going to co-operate with the overview.

‘Alarm bells ringing’

Arthur had lived along with his mom Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow and Hughes earlier than the couple cut up up. They got joint custody.

Mr Halcrow stated: “The pair of them, Arthur and her together, were so happy. So absolutely she was a great mother and she spoiled him rotten as mothers do.

“When I used to be down in Birmingham, after I noticed them collectively, they have been identical to completely bonded collectively.”

Arthur then lived with Hughes and his family before Hughes and Tustin became a couple.

Mr Halcrow said Arthur was “beloved and properly taken care of” by his other grandparents and added they had raised concerns over his safety.

He said: “They’re respectable individuals they usually have been very involved. And they issued warnings that have been ignored, let’s assume.”

Mr Halcrow stated he did not know who went to the house once social services in Solihull were alerted.

“They will need to have thought every part was superb.

“People were flagging up there were problems and social services got involved, but said there was nothing to worry about.”

Image supply, West Midlands Police

Image caption,

Emma Tustin was convicted of Arthur’s homicide whereas his father, Thomas Hughes, was discovered responsible of his manslaughter

He questioned why no-one thought to step in and say “right, we’re taking that child out of that situation”.

“I mean [social services] must have a tick list to do – ‘the house is clean, everything is tidy, blah blah, blah, so we’ll not worry about it’.”

He added “alarm bells were ringing all around” and even Arthur’s neighbours had raised considerations.

Mr Halcrow stated of the killers: “I wouldn’t give them the time of day and I wouldn’t want them to see the light of day ever again.

“[Arthur] had his complete life forward of him, you realize?”

Madeleine Halcrow, Arthur’s maternal grandmother, said she felt anger towards the organisations responsible for monitoring her grandson’s safety.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I’m indignant with the inter companies as a result of someplace alongside the road communication hasn’t been handed alongside.

Image supply, PA Media

Image caption,

Arthur’s maternal grandmother Madeleine Halcrow attended a vigil in Solihull on Sunday

“The old adage, ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. Well something is broken in this system and something needs fixing.”

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, stated it could be beginning work on its investigation into providers concerned with baby safety in Solihull.

She advised Today: “Alongside the investigation into the particular circumstances of poor Arthur’s death, we’ve been asked to lead a joint targeted area inspection, looking at all of the services that are involved with child protection in Solihull.

“So that is not simply care and training, but in addition well being, police, probation.”

Image caption,

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former head of Ofsted said things “get misplaced” between agencies

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former head of Ofsted, said during his time in the watchdog he heard the same things “time and again and once more” regarding issues not being picked up quickly enough, invisibility of children within the home, poor early intervention and support and high case loads for social workers.

“That is what the studies will say and I’m certain they are going to say the identical factor about this poor little boy,” he said.

Without good monitoring by local authorities, he said social work “would not work”.

Last week Solihull Council leader Ian Courts said quite understandably there had been “a powerful and heartfelt response from throughout our borough and nationally”.

“I’m very clear that we’ll go away no stone unturned to know, study and repair any points that the unbiased overview finds and any additional actions that will come about by means of subsequent evaluations and inspections,” he said.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk

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