A father accused of killing his 6-year-old son sent a text message saying he would “rip his f***ing jaw off his shoulders,” a jury has heard.
The father accused of killing his 6-year-old son sent messages saying he would “rip his jaw off his shoulders”
Prosecutors allege Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was killed by his father, Thomas Hughes, 29, and his girlfriend, Emma Tustin, 32, in June after being poisoned with salt and subjected to months of abuse.
On the second day of the trial at Coventry Crown Court in Coventry, England, jurors were shown WhatsApp messages between the accused couple. Dozens of audio recordings from Tustin’s cell phone in which Arthur is heard crying were also played and images of bruises on his shoulders were shown.
Jonas Hankin QC, counsel for the prosecution, showed pictures of Arthur before his confinement, including some of him at a McDonald’s and playing in a park.
He read out extracts from a message in which Hughes reacted to an audio clip by saying, “I’ll deal with him when I get home and it won’t be nice.”
It was then suggested in a message that Arthur should be “stripped along with the garbage” before Tustin described the boy as “making a fuss”.
Hughes is said to have replied, “He’ll stop when I rip his fucking jaw off his shoulders.”
A video shot by Tustin the next day showed Arthur sitting on a tile floor, dressed in a Batman T-shirt, while slapping himself and putting his foot on his head while kicking. After receiving a photo of Arthur, Hughes said, “It’s an absolute disgrace. That’s not my son.”
Arthur was left in his father’s care after his mother was jailed for killing her boyfriend. Jurors heard he was killed three months after his father moved into Tustin’s home.
Tustin is alleged to have killed Arthur by banging his head against a hard surface while alone with him in his home.