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Arthur's killer stepmum 'would joke on phone' while in her cell and 'never mentioned him'

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Emma Tustin jailed for life for murder

Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted on Friday of abusing, poisoning and murdering her stepson. For this, she has been jailed for ‘life’ with a mimimim term of 29 years – though the sentence will be reviewed for leniency.

Despite her horrific crimes, committed against a defenceless six-year-old boy who she was supposed to care for, Tustin is said to have shown no signs of remorse in the weeks leading up to her sentencing.

Elaine Pritchard spent six weeks locked up with Tustin.

She told the Mirror that the child-murderer was constantly self-pitying but almost never upset.

The only occasion she saw Tustin upset was after Arthur’s father, who was sentenced on Saturday for manslaughter, ignored her in court.

Emma Tustin

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' killer stepmum 'would laugh and joke on phone' and never mention him. (Image: PA/SWNS)

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. (Image: SWNS)

Elaine said: “She always felt sorry for herself. 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.”

She added that Tustin “never said anything about Arthur dying” – in fact, “she [almost] never mentioned him” at all.

Tustin pretended that she was being held in prison because Thomas “neglected” his son and not because of actions she carried out herself.

She would “laugh and joke” on the phone, Elaine claimed.

READ MORE: National investigation into Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' murder

Emma Tustin

Emma Tustin. (Image: PA)

Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes. (Image: PA)

Elaine only came to properly understand why Tustin was behind bars when she read her case paper work.

She said: “We had a fight – it was me more than her. 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.”

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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with his father Thomas Hughes and stepmother Emma Tustin. (Image: PA)

Tustin was moved to another cell, but other inmates soon learnt what she was soon to be sentenced for.

This led them to lace Tustin’s meals with salt, with which she poisoned her stepson.

Elaine said: “Some of the things we did were cruel – but she was crueller to Arthur so she deserved it.”

Tustin’s sentence will now be reviewed by the Attorney General.

Flowers laid for Arthur

Flowers laid for Arthur. (Image: PA)

The office of the AG announced it would also review the 21-year sentence given to Thomas for manslaughter in order to “determine whether they were too low”.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, the Government announced that it will launch a national investigation into Arthur’s murder.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News: "The most vulnerable in our society need to have the maximum protection."