A six-year-old child was allegedly abused and brutally killed by his father and his stepmother. Coventry Crown Court in the United Kingdom heard how the couple deprived the child of food and water. The child eventually died of brain injuries after his head was struck against a hard object multiple times.

29-year-old Thomas Hughes, the father of the child, and his partner 32-year-old Emma Tustin had been torturing the child physically and mentally, for more than a year. Text messages exchanged between them revealed that they abused the child regularly and even spoke about killing him.

The hatred for the child could be seen in texts where the stepmother is told the father that she wanted him and not the boy. She also implied that she was not going to take any responsibility for the child.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, the deceased child, was allegedly suffered from deadly brain injuries after being abused by his father and stepmother. Both the parents were charged with first-degree homicide and child abuse, which were denied by them, The Daily Star reported.

On June 16, 2020, Arthur was found unconscious at the Solihull home. After being taken to the hospital, he died the next day. Even though the child was obviously injured the step-mother took time to call emergency services. Police later found over 22 videos and images on Tustin’s phone captured Arthur in distress.

Post mortem report revealed that the child’s death had been caused by head trauma. Doctors also revealed that he had been poisoned with salt.

In the weeks that leading up to the death of the child, Tustin made a number of references to her husband that she was pregnant.  She claimed that he was turning his back on the unborn child as well as the mother, Daily Mail reported.

Investigations shed light on more abuses where the victim was isolated from meeting any other family member. He was also deprived of clothes, food and a bed to sleep on.

The Crown Court remarked that the child was subjected to a lot of violence prior to his death, which matched the definition of child abuse.

The abuse started when the father with the child moved into the Solihull house of Tustin after his first wife was jailed for homicide. The child was supposedly very stable before the move to his stepmother’s house.

The couple faces child cruelty and murder charges which they have denied. Their trial remains ongoing.

child Responding officers arrived at the home following a 911 call and found the young victims unresponsive in a bed at their address near 13th Street and Mountain View Road last week. This is a representational image. Pixabay