New UK Law Would See Child Killers Die In Prison, Says Prime Minister Boris Johnson

New UK Law Would See Child Killers Die In Prison, Says Prime Minister Boris Johnson

'Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison,' the PM said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed, this week, to bring in new laws that ensure that people who deliberately kill a child are never released from prison, reports The Sun. Speaking to the publication after the jailing of Emma Tustin—a 32-year-old sentenced for the murder of her six-year-old stepson, Arthur Labinjo-Hughes—and the boy's father, 29-year-old Thomas Hughes, Johnson said: "Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison. So we're toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes."


The PM reportedly also insisted on bringing forward a rapid review on toughening up the sentences handed down to Tustin and Hughes. According to The Guardian, Tustin was sentenced to life in prison, last week, with a minimum term of 29 years while Hughes was given 21 years in prison for manslaughter. "Arthur was subjected to the most unimaginable suffering at the hands of both of you. You both told lies to conceal what was happening in that house. Your behaviour towards him was often spiteful and at times sadistic," Mr. Justice Wall said as he passed the sentence at Coventry crown court on Friday. "This is without doubt one of the most distressing and disturbing cases with which I have had to deal."


The pair's conviction came at the end of an eight-week trial that revealed how Arthur was subjected to "incomprehensible and escalating cruelty." Prosecutors argued that the child was physically assaulted, poisoned with salt, and forced to stand in isolation for up to 14 hours a day in the months leading up to his death. While passing the sentence, Wall described Tustin—who refused to come to the dock for the sentencing—as a "manipulative woman who will tell any lie and shift the blame on to anyone to save her own skin."


He added that it was a "shocking feature of the case" how Tustin's own two children—aged four and five—"lived a perfectly happy, normal life in that household while this appalling cruelty to Arthur was taking place." Speaking of Hughes' involvement in his son's death, Wall said he'd been an adequate father for Arthur "before you became infatuated with Tustin to the extent that it obliterated all your love for your son." Arthur was killed in June last year by Tustin violently shaking and hitting the boy's head, causing injuries that were "extensive and devastating," Wall said. "The amount of violence you used on him produced forces on his body said to be equivalent to those which might otherwise have been produced by a high-speed road traffic collision," he added.


Discussing the blood-curdling case, Johnson said: "The Attorney General is also urgently considering the facts of this case and the sentence handed down, but this is a Government that will always legislate for the toughest possible sentences for such repugnant crimes." The PM's spokesman added that the government wants "this to be looked at as a matter of urgency." As a result of this, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill—which is currently working its way through Parliament—will be amended to bring pre-meditated child murder into line with the most serious offenses against children. As of now, life sentences apply for abducting and then murdering a child, or murdering them with a sexual or sadistic intent. The proposed amendment will add plotting to kill a child and then committing the act to the list.


"This will be no solace to the friends and family of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes who have my deepest sympathies and condolences," Johnson said. Tory Julian Knight—Arthur's local MP in Solihull, West Midlands County—begged ministers in parliament this week to leave "no stone unturned" in finding out what went so tragically wrong in the boy's case. Recounting some of the late youngster's last words, he said: "'No one loves me, no one is going to feed me.' Those are the words that broke the hearts of my town and it seems our country as well. A young lad who never had a chance. He experienced unimaginable brutality in his short life."

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