A woman accused of murdering her partner’s six-year-old son called him a ‘devil child’ and sent the boy’s father a text saying ‘I want you but not him’, a court heard.
Emma Tustin, 32, referred to Arthur Labinjo-Hughes as a ‘little t**t’, ‘little p***k’, ‘little f**k’ and ‘little c**t’ in messages to her boyfriend Thomas Hughes, 29, in the weeks before the boy suffered fatal injuries, Coventry Crown Court heard.
Arthur had tried to tell family members ‘no one loves me’ and ‘I won’t be fed today’ before he died, jurors were told.
Tustin and Hughes are accused of ‘poisoning’ the child with salt and making him endure months of abuse before killing him by ‘banging his head against a hard surface’.
Both deny murdering Arthur, who collapsed at Miss Tustin’s home in Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, on June 16 last year. He died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital the following day having suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The court was told Tustin sent numerous texts claiming Arthur was ‘screaming’, refusing to eat his food, demanding to go to his grandmother as well as attacking her.
The couple also spoke of separating and in one row the jury was told that Tustin sent a text saying: ‘I want you but not him. I’m not being treated like that by him.’
Hughes replied: ‘It can’t be one and not the other. Unfortunately, it’s got to be both or none.’
In response, the court was told, Tustin messaged: ‘Cya.’
Miss Tustin has pleaded guilty to one count of child cruelty but denies further charges of the same offence. Mr Hughes, of Shirley, also denies child cruelty offences.
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Source: Daily Mail