Harrowing CCTV shows frail boy, 6, struggling to lift duvet hours before death

This is the heartbreaking CCTV of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes struggling to put his duvet away after sleeping in a living room hours before his death.

In the footage, recorded on June 16 last year, the six-year-old is so frail he can barely pick his bedding up from the floor where he has been sleeping.

Hours later, he would collapse of catastrophic and ultimately fatal head injuries at the home in Cranmore Road, Shirley, a jury has heard.

Prosecutors argue he had been subjected to weeks of "systematic abuse" at the hands of his father Thomas Hughes, 29, and step-mother Emma Tustin, 32, which culminated in one final attack.

Both deny murder and multiple counts of child cruelty, Birmingham Live reports.

They currently stand trial at Coventry Crown Court where the jury is a matter of days away from being sent out to reach verdicts following weeks of evidence.

CCTV footage from Tustin's living room on June 16 last year was released on Tuesday (November 23).

In the footage, which has been played to the jury, Arthur is seen stirring and waking up at 8.30 am.

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC, describing the footage to the jury for the first time in the trial, said: "Arthur wakes up and stands.

"He appears to be struggling to fold his duvet. He appears to be crying and struggling on his feet. He drags his duvet on the floor out of the living room."

Arthur appears to stand up in stages, wearing the same onesie he had been for the fifth day in a row, it has been claimed.

The two-minute footage, which did not record sound, shows how he finally gets to his feet and appears to stumble and limp towards the door.

Arthur edges out the room, tiny step by tiny step, and at one point loses grip of his bedding, then retrieves it and ushers himself out of the living room.

It is alleged by that stage Arthur's body was feeble from being made to stand in isolation in the hallway for up to 14 hours a day, being repeatedly assaulted, deprived of food and water, and likely by then "poisoned" with salt.

Medical experts have told the jury his thymus – an organ in the immune system – had shrunk due to a "period of severe prolonged physical stress" comparable to a child with cancer.

The court has also heard Arthur was made to sleep on the living room floor even on nights when Tustin's children were staying elsewhere and their beds were free to use upstairs.

Living room CCTV has featured heavily during the trial offering a unique fly-on-the-wall perspective into what was happening in the home during lockdown last year.

Tustin said she had it installed to monitor Arthur's behaviour which she and Hughes claim deteriorated significantly in his final weeks.

The camera has helped detectives establish how long Arthur spent in the hallway as a "punishment".

In another incident, it showed Tustin wake Arthur up by pulling the duvet from underneath him, which appeared to startle him and make him stand up and cry.

The prosecution has argued Hughes carried out violence upon his son as well as permitted and encouraged Tustin to do the same.

It is alleged she committed the fatal attack in the hallway around 2.29 pm on June 16 whilst she was alone with Arthur.

The court has heard Hughes arrived home shortly after and emergency services were called 12 minutes after the alleged assault.

Arthur was taken to the Birmingham Children's Hospital where doctors concluded his brain injuries were unsurvivable.

His life support was turned off and he died in intensive care at 1 am on June 17.

The trial continues.

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