Emma Tustin has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 29 years for starving, poisoning and then murdering her six-year-old stepson Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes has been jailed for 21 years.
On Thursday Tustin and Hughes were found guilty of killing six-year-old Arthur after months of abuse.
Tustin, who was brought to Coventry Crown Court, "refused to come up" to the dock for the duration of the sentencing, Mr Justice Mark Wall QC said at the start of the hearing.
In his sentencing remarks Mr Justice Wall said the case was one of the most distressing and disturbing cases he had ever had to deal with.
He said: "This cruel and inhuman treatment of Arthur was a deliberate decision by you to brush off his cries for help as naughtiness."
Addressing Tustin, whom he said had made a "calculated" decision to kill, he said: "You are a manipulative woman who will tell any lie, and shift the blame onto anyone, to save your own skin."
He added: "You wanted Thomas Hughes so he could provide for you and your own children, but did not want to be troubled by Arthur any longer."
The judge called Hughes’ "encouragement" of his girlfriend’s actions "chilling".
He added: "You were Arthur’s father, in a position of trust and bore primary responsibility for protecting him.
"He was extremely vulnerable and you lied to his school in the last days of Arthur’s life to protect both you and Ms Tustin."
The couple who met online and moved in with one another at the start of lockdown, starved, tortured and poisoned the little boy.
When Arthur died he had more than 130 areas of bruising on his body – described in court by the prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC as "a bruise for every day of lockdown."
"Violence was a way of life for him in lockdown," Mr Hankin added.
Jurors sat through eight weeks of harrowing evidence that charted the cruelty the couple meted out to the little boy in the final months of his life.
This included denying him food and water, making him sleep on the living room floor and forcing him to stand for hours in isolation.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with his father Thomas Hughes and Thomas' partner Emma Tustin
Credit: West Midlands Police /PA
Tustin used her mobile phone to record hundreds of clips of the little boy being abused, mocked and physically attacked.
In one heartbreaking audio message Arthur could be heard pleading to see his Uncle Blake, to whom he was denied access.
He could be heard saying: "Please help me, help me Uncle Blake, they’re not feeding me. I need some food and drink."
Hughes removed his son’s favourite teddy bear and cut up his prized Birmingham City FC football shirts in front of him.
On another occasion he duped the child into thinking he was going to see his beloved grandparents – before turning around at the last minute.
In the weeks before this death they stepped up their campaign of cruelty and began poisoning him with salt.
On June 16 last year, CCTV in Tustin’s house captured the frail, emaciated and weakened little boy struggling to pick his bedding up from the living room floor.
Hours later he was dead after collapsing with a brain injury from which he could not be saved.
Arthur was so emaciated when he eventually collapsed that medics attempting to revive him noted that they could see his ribs through his skin.
Arthur’s mother says ‘life as I know it will never exist again’
Madeleine Halcrow, Arthur’s grandmother, delivered a victim impact statement on behalf of her daughter, Arthur’s mother, Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow.
In the statement she said the little boy is yet to have a funeral.
The statement said: "The last time I spoke to my little boy was the most excited I had ever heard him. He knew he was going to see me soon. He asked how many packets of drumstick squashies I had saved him. I told him he could have as many packets as he wanted as long as he ate his sausage, mash and peas first."
"He giggled his usual giggle. I will never again hear that giggle or hear him say ‘I love you mommy bear’.
"He will never get his drumstick squashies. I will never get to see the smile behind his eyes. Never get to remind him how beautiful he was and how much he was loved.
"Life as I know it will never exist again. Losing Arthur is unquantifiable. I don’t think I will ever be able to live a full life again. Grief isn’t the right word. How I feel about losing baby bear Arthur. I feel hollow. Every day I feel like I’m walking around with all the lights turned off."
Ms Halcrow continued: "All of his family, uncles and grandparents were stopped from seeing or speaking to him.
"He was just a child, he had no-one to talk to, no one to ask for help when he was scared and needed protecting the most."
The statement went on: "They took his sparkle and his naivety from him and then they took him from this world. A child, my child, my little love defenceless, trusting and nothing but loving was killed. His short life stolen and the hole that it has left in me and those who love Arthur will never be repaired."
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes timeline
The role of social services and the police is now in the spotlight after it emerged that Arthur’s grandparents and uncles tried to raise the alarm on four occasions but had their concerns dismissed.
One of Arthur’s uncles was even threatened with arrest for breaching lockdown rules when he told police he was planning to check up on his nephew.
Arthur’s paternal grandmother, Joanne Hughes, alerted social services in April last year but when social workers visited the home they were easily duped into thinking everything was fine.
Police also visited Arthur but found no issues of concern, despite being sent photographs showing bruising on the little boy’s back.
Throughout the attacks Arthur was not at school, where his injuries may have been noted by teachers, because it had shut down for lockdown, the court was told.
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