THIS is the chilling moment a stepmum who murdered a six-year-old boy told a 999 caller he "threw himself on the floor".
Thomas Hughes, 29, and Emma Tustin, 32, waged a sick "campaign of cruelty" against Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in his tragic final months, a trial heard.
The youngster was segregated for 14 hours a day and forced to sleep on the floor in a brutal struggle that matched the “medical definition of child torture”.
He was also poisoned with so much salt he was too weak to even put up a fight against his torturers' horrific abuse.
"Wicked" Tustin was today convicted of murder while "pitiless" Hughes was found guilty of manslaughter.
The wicked couple were also found guilty of multiple counts of child cruelty after six-and-a-half hours of deliberation.
Family members wept as a minute's silence for Arthur was held at the jury's request.
Tustin had waited 13 minutes to call 999 and told an operator the youngster was "barely breathing" after he "banged his heard quite hard".
It comes as…
- A dad and stepmum have been convicted of killing a young boy who was tortured to death
- The trial heard harrowing evidence that helped snare the killer pair
- Arthur's mum paid tribute from a jail cell where she is serving time for stabbing her lover to death
- A probe has been launched after Arthur's plight was ignored by police, social services and teachers
- Bodycam footage showed Tustin's tears as she tried to claim Arthur hit her
A recording of the 999 call was played in Coventry Crown Court in October.
In it, Tustin says: "Basically he's threw himself on the floor, he's headbutted the floor. I'm trying to pick him up in the process.
"He's headbutted me in the process."
Tustin is then heard saying there was a "big bang" and Arthur "knocked himself out".
She also claimed there is a "lump on his head" that he had "done to himself", the court heard.
Dramatic bodycam footage captured by police was released today after Tustin was convicted of murder and Hughes found guilty of manslaughter.
The stepmum can be seen wiping away fake tears as she claims to officers Arthur had trashed the home and battered her over the past six months.
Arthur's frail and skeletal body was covered with 130 bruises and he suffered 93 different areas of injury – including on his head, arms, legs, feet and torso.
Arthur's mum Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow paid tribute to Arthur today from her prison cell where she is serving a sentence for stabbing her lover to death.
She said: "Arthur was the light of my life. He wasn't just my only child – he was my best friend.
"Never did I imagine he would be taken from this world so early in his life.
"If Arthur could ask for one last thing, it would be that he was remembered for his superpower. That will always be what I remember and Arthur's superpower was his smile."
Chillingly, Arthur's final months on earth were captured in harrowing audio clips and recordings made by Tustin and Hughes.
Tustin was accused of inflicting the fatal blow at 2.29pm on June 16 last year before calling 999 at 2.42pm.
Just minutes later she texted the "balloon lady" about her birthday balloons before taking a picture of stricken Arthur lying in a hallway, the trial was told.
She then messaged Arthur's dad Thomas Hughes, saying: "Just copped me in the stomach he has thrown himself all over the floor won't get up for s*** I've shut the door on him."
During the trial jurors were shown CCTV of her carrying the "limp" youngster into the living room.
Arthur died in hospital the next day with a cause of death given as a "head trauma inflicted on him by an adult" consistent with being "vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface".
He was subjected to a "campaign of cruelty" before his death that matched the “medical definition of child torture”, jurors were told.
Doctors found he had been "poisoned with salt" and had suffered extensive bruising over his frail body.
He was also "segregated and isolated" for "up to 14 hours a day" and deprived of a bed, food and clothing.
The court heard from witnesses who told how Hughes threatened to "rip" his six-year-old son's head off and "use it as a football" on the day he collapsed.
Catherine Milhench told the court the boy looked "skeletal" and claimed she could see his "collar bones sticking out" through his pyjama onesie.
She also said she saw Arthur stumble as he left as he was "physically weak" but said his dad and stepmum "just stood there".
Her partner Tobias Jarman told jurors Arthur looked "malnourished" when he saw him during the visit to his house on June 16 last year.
The witness, who "snuck" the boy a glass of water, described Arthur's appearance as: "Lips dry, cracked lips. The build-up of plaque on his teeth was considerable.
"Dirty fingernails. He just looked quite grotty. As if he'd been out playing in the garden, that hadn't been the case. Just malnourished. Just unwell really."
Mr Jarman said he "tried to reassure" Arthur as he gave him the water and told him he didn't have to be scared of him.
He added: "He look petrified. It was not the normal glow you see in a kid's eyes of that age.
"It looked like there was fear ingrained inside of there."
The court was told Tustin recorded more than 22 pictures and videos of Arthur in distress.
Jurors watched CCTV of Tustin tucking into McDonald's while Arthur was left in a hallway for 14 hours and forced to sleep on the floor.
Twisted Tustin and Hughes will be sentenced on a later date.
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