Arthur Labinjo-Hughes' killer father has agreed to release his son's body so he can finally be laid to rest.

Thomas Hughes was jailed for 21 years for the manslaughter of his six-year-old son, who was subjected to a harrowing campaign of abuse in the lead up to his death.

Hughes' partner, Emma Tustin, who inflicted fatal injuries on her stepson at their Solihull home, was convicted of murder and will serve a minimum of 29 years in jail.

A lawyer for Hughes said he had been 'passive' on the issue of releasing his son's body, Birmingham Live reports.

READ MORE: Community comes together to remember tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes at vigil

But he has now agreed to release the body to Arthur's mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, who is currently in prison herself after being convicted of the manslaughter of her boyfriend Gary Cunningham .

The lawyer said he hoped the decision would provide a 'tiny scrap of peace' to her in the wake of her son's death.

During a sentencing hearing on Friday, Coventry Crown Court heard that Arthur has yet to be laid to rest.

Labinjo-Halcrow said in an emotional statement in court, read by Labinjo-Halcrow's mother Madeleine Halcrow, Arthur's grandmother, that her life had been 'destroyed' by her son's death.

Thomas Hughes and Emma Tustin have both been jailed

She added: "Now over a year on my beautiful boy has still not been laid to rest. He is still alone and cold; the people who took him refuse to show compassion and allow his little body to be released to me, his mother; to finally let him rest peacefully and warm.

"Burying my beloved son is the final thing I will ever be able to do for him. The waiting is torture and even though I try to stop myself every night when I get into a warm bed, my heart breaks all over again at the thought of my Arthur alone in the cold."

Bernard Richmond QC, barrister for Hughes, said a 'degree of passivity' was part of his client's character and he had not been 'fighting' or 'standing up' for the things he should have.

He told the court Hughes had left the issue of Arthur's remains to his family and Ms Labinjo-Halcrow's family to resolve but they had not been able to agree.

Mr Richmond added: "I have spoken to him and said this can't go on. He has instructed me to say that Arthur's remains, after a service with his family, must go to his mother's family for her to have a funeral and she must have control of his ashes.

"He does hope he can give Olivia a tiny scrap of peace."

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has confirmed that the sentences of Tustin and Hughes are to be reviewed.

Arthur's grandfather said the couple behind his murder “must never see the light of day again” as he called for the pair to be handed whole-life terms.

Peter Halcrow, 61, told the Sun: “No punishment could ever be enough for this pair.

“I have never favoured the death penalty because I know mistakes can be made by courts, but in my view they have forfeited their right to live.

“It will burden taxpayers but, as we don’t have capital punishment, they should certainly never leave prison as long as they live for such cruelty and inhumanity.”

The AGO has 28 days from the date of sentence to review a case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme, and make a decision as to whether to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal then makes a ruling on cases which have been referred.

A spokesperson for the AGO said: “The Attorney General’s thoughts are with those who loved Arthur.

“I can confirm that the sentences given to Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes have been referred to the Attorney General for review to determine whether they were too low.”

It comes as the government announced a major review to determine what improvements are needed by the agencies that came into contact with Arthur in the months before he was murdered.

The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will lead the review and will provide additional support to Solihull Children’s Safeguarding Partnership to “upgrade” the already existing local review which was launched shortly after Arthur’s death in June 2020.

It emerged in court the boy had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were “no safeguarding concerns”.

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