Five killers including triple murderer who smothered his baby have jail terms reviewed by judges

May 4, 2022

Five notorious killers including Sarah Everard’s murderer and a father who smothered his own baby daughter are having their sentences reviewed by senior judges.

The cases heard on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal included Ms Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens and Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, who killed six year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Triple killer Jordan Monaghan and double murder Ian Stewart are also having their jail terms looked at again.

The hearing before the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and four other judges concluded today, with a decision due at a later date.

He said: “We propose to take time to consider our decisions in these very difficult and tragic cases.”

Below we look at the submissions made in each of the cases at the Court of Appeal:

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ killers Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes died in June 2020 from a brain injury, following months of abuse at his home in Solihull.

Shocking videos, shown during Tustin and Hughes’ trial, documented how weak young Arthur had been in the few days leading up to his death.

In one haunting video from a babycam, Arthur was so frail that he couldn’t pick up his duvet from the floor of his living room in Shirley, Solihull.

Tustin was home alone with Arthur on 16 June 2020 when she fatally assaulted him.

Arthur was routinely made to stand alone in the corridor for up to 14 hours a day

(West Midlands Police/PA)

Arthur’s father Thomas Hughes was sentenced to 21 years in jail for manslaughter and his partner Tustin received a minimum term of 29 years for murder.

Attorney general Suella Braverman brought the sentences to the appeal court for being “unduly lenient” and representing lawyers argued that Tustin should have a whole life order imposed.

Tom Little QC told the judges at the Court of Appeal that Arthur “was regularly beaten by both offenders...He was forced to live a solitary and lonely life in the family home.

“He was, on the judge’s findings, subjected to unimaginable suffering. He was subjected by both offenders to behaviour that was spiteful and sadistic.”

Sweet moment Arthur Labinjo-Hughes talks about his football dreams

Mr Little continued: “The judge found that there had been reveling in the suffering, which we submitted terrorised and degraded and neglected Arthur, and there was physical and emotional abuse.

“It merited at the very least a consideration of a whole life order.”

Sarah Everard’s killer, former police officer Wayne Couzens

Couzens showed “remorse” for the murder of Ms Everard and should have his whole-life prison sentence overturned, the court was told on Wednesday.

The former Metropolitan Police Officer was sentenced to life in prison for the abduction, rape and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Ms Everard in March 2021.

Public trust in the Met was shaken by the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer

(PA Media)

Jim Sturman QC said that Couzens had shown remorse for his crimes and accepted that they were “abhorrent”.

“It’s all too easy to imagine a worse case,” he added. “The matter to decide is whether or not a term of minimum 35 to 39 years before release or a whole life order is merited.”

Wayne Couzens is appealing his whole life sentence

(PA Media)

Tom Little QC, representing the Crown Prosecution Service, said that Couzens’ whole life order “was a correct sentence to impose in this truly exceptional case”.

The barrister said Couzens’s offending was of the “utmost seriousness”, adding: “His criminality was, as found by the judge, a fundamental attack in reality on our democratic way of life”.

“A police officer is in a uniquely powerful position,” Mr Little said, with Couzens carrying out an arrest, alone, on one of London’s busiest roads during lockdown.

Triple murderer Jordan Monaghan

Jordan Monaghan smothered his own baby daughter and his toddler son before going on to poison his 23-year-old girlfriend Evie Adams.

The killings all happened some time apart, with Monaghan first killing 24-day-old Ruby at home January 2013. Eight months later, he smothered his son at a swimming baths.

Monaghan was on police bail six years later when he poisoned Ms Adams in a murder described as “one involving significant planning and preparation” by lawyer Tom Little QC.

Jordan Monaghan was given a minimum term of 40 years for the three murders


Mr Little QC, arguing for a whole life order to be imposed on Monaghan, told the court that “there was in truth no mitigation here at all. We submit that this was not a borderline case.”

“A minimum term of 40 years for this offending was unduly lenient given the scale of the homicide offences, the duration and given that they were all separated in time.

“We submit that the totality of this offending required only a whole life order.”

Double murderer Ian Stewart

The whole life order given to Ian Stewart for the murder of his first wife Diane Stewart was not justified, lawyers representing the killer argued on Wednesday.

Stewart was found guilty of murdering his first wife six years before he went on to murder his fiancee, the children’s book author Helen Bailey.

The 61-year-old had claimed that Ms Stewart had suffered an epileptic fit at their home in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire.

Ian Stewart is appealing against his whole life prison order


Prosecutors argued that it was more likely that her death was caused by a prolonged restriction to her breathing from an outside source, such as smothering.

Author Helen Bailey was drugged and smothered by Stewart, who then dumped her body in the cesspit of their home in Hertfordshire.

Diane Stewart was killed by Ian Stewart in 2010


Amjad Malik QC, who was representing Stewart, told the court on Wednesday: “When one looks at the whole set of aggravating features with regard to both of these killings it does not fall in any way shape or form as an exceptionally high-seriousness case.”

He added: “It could be said that there was just punishment and retribution imposed on Mr Stewart.”

“A man who is going to die in prison because of natural age even with the sentence that he has received of 34 years.”

Mr Malik said there were many cases of “serial killers” who received whole-life orders.

“This is not one of those cases,” he argued.

Additional reporting from the Press Assocation

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