The morning TV host was in tears as grandmother Madeleine Halcrow described how she tried to help her six-year-old grandson.
Arthur was battered to death by his stepmother Emma Tustin who was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years on Friday after she was convicted of murdering six-year-old at her home in Solihull, West Midlands.
His father, Thomas Hughes, was also jailed for 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter for encouraging the killing, including by sending a text message to Tustin hours before the fatal assault telling her ‘just end him’.
On Good Morning Britain today, his grandmother Madeleine Halcrow made her first television appearance to discuss the opportunities to save Arthur that were missed.
Co-host Martin Lewis asked: ‘Arthur’s paternal grandmother got in touch with you didn’t she about the bruises?’
Madeline, who is a nurse, explained she was visited by Thomas’ mother Joanna Hughes and her husband Chris.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was killed by his step-mother Emma Tustin at her home in Solihull
‘Joanna said they had found bruises on Arthur,’ Madeline explained. ‘She showed [me the pictures] and straight away I said, ‘Those are non-accidental injures, they are caused by an adult hand.’
‘I said, ‘On his right shoulder I can see three fingers and his left shoulder that has been caused by being hit with something or being pushed against something.’
‘But the most disturbing thing to me and I said this to Chris and Jo, ‘There’s new bruises on top of old,’ Madeline said as she broke down in tears.
It comes as Ms Halcrow said warnings about the treatment of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes were ignored and something in the system responsible for ensuring his safety is broken.
Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, with a minimum term of 29 years, after being found guilty of the six-year-old’s murder.
His father, Thomas Hughes, 29, was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.
This is the moment Susanna Reid broke teared up as Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ grandmother broke down on Good Morning Britain as she recalled how she tried to save her grandson
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes with father Thomas Hughes and Emma Tustin who has been convicted of murder while Hughes, 29, is guilty of manslaughter after a trial at Coventry Crown Court
The pair showed ‘no remorse, no sympathy’, Arthur’s maternal grandmother said, as she branded them ‘depraved, sadistic, torturous, evil, calculating people’.
Madeleine Halcrow, who described her grandson as having been ‘the happiest child’ before he went to live with his father and stepmother as the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, said she felt anger towards the organisations responsible for monitoring his safety.
In a tearful interview, she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I am angry with the inter agencies because somewhere along the line communication hasn’t been passed along. The old adage, ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. Well something is broken in this system and something needs fixing.’
Peter Halcrow, Arthur’s maternal grandfather, said warnings were issued by the little boy’s paternal grandparents, by whom he was ‘well loved and well looked after’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘They’re decent people, and they were very concerned, and they issued warnings which were ignored, shall we say.’
He added: ‘I can’t understand why something wasn’t done about it.
It was revealed Arthur had been made to consume at least 34g of salt in the hours before his death leading to a sodium level which was ‘off the scale’ by the time he reached hospital
‘I don’t know who runs Solihull social services or who went round to the house, because they were called and they must have had a snapshot of the house, and they must have felt everything was fine.
‘There’s been phone calls made to West Midlands Police as well, which were not acted on. It’s a tough one, when you hear the kind of abuse the boy was going through.’
He said someone should have stepped in when ‘alarm bells’ were ringing.
Asked what he would like reviews into the six-year-old’s situation to consider, he told Today: ‘It’s not as if it was a kind of ‘passing by’ thing. I mean, people were flagging up there were problems and social services got involved and said there was nothing to worry about, and then ‘hey ho’, three or four months later, the boy is dead.
‘How can you ask me what I would like them to consider? I mean, they must have a tick-list to do, ‘house is clean, everything’s tidy, blah, blah, blah, so we’ll not worry about it’.
‘If alarm bells are ringing all around, even neighbour statements, then surely, there must be someone or some kind of body that can step in and say: ‘Right, we’re taking that child out of that situation,’ you know?
‘If the father is not man enough to do that himself then someone has to say: ‘This child is suffering and needs help,’ and take them out of the situation. And I guess that’s what social services are for.’
Social workers were called to the home two months prior to Arthur’s death after his grandmother raised concerns about bruises on his back, but no further action was taken
As for the couple responsible for his death, Mr Halcrow said they had committed a ‘heinous crime’ by killing a ‘defenceless, innocent boy’.
Mr Halcrow said: ‘I wouldn’t give them the time of day and I wouldn’t want them to see the light of day ever again.’
Arthur was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of ‘evil’ Tustin.
She was convicted of murder by assaulting defenceless Arthur in the hallway of her Cranmore Road home in Solihull on June 16 last year.
Arthur, whose body was covered in 130 bruises, died in hospital the next day.
Ms Halcrow said of the jail sentences: ‘Life should mean life. They took Arthur’s life, he’s not going to get his life back, he’s not going to have children of his own.’
Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of Ofsted, said they will be starting work on their investigation into services involved with child protection in Solihull, where Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died, next week.
She told Today: ‘It’s not an investigation of the case itself, which is a separate piece of work, but we’ll be looking at how those services jointly are dealing with child protection at the moment and what improvements can be made.’