Her vulnerable prisoner status means she has no contact with other lags, and eats, exercises and washes with just prison officers for company. Tustin, seen as the top target for other female cons, is also under near-constant observation to ensure she does not self-harm. A source said: “Every effort is being made to protect her from attack. Like it or not, prison officers have a duty to keep order and the rule of law inside.”
Adding to the notion that she is a top target for internal prison justice, the source added: “In her case, they’re gritting their teeth to do it but she’s a massive target. It’s only a matter of time before someone takes a chance to do her in.”
Tustin and six-year-old Arthur’s dad, Thomas Hughes, 29, were jailed following the brutal murder of the little boy.
Jurors heard how ¬Tustin had carried out the final fatal assault by violently shaking the boy and repeatedly banging his head on a hard surface.
She then callously took a photo of him as he lay dying in her hallway and sent it to his father after Hughes encouraged his own son’s killing, including sending sick texts to Tustin telling her to “take his c***g jaw off his shoulders” and one on the day he died saying “just end him”.
Hughes was not present at the time but had encouraged violence against his son and regularly beat him.
He is serving 21 years at HMP Hewell, Worcestershire.
The jail holds 800 inmates.
The government is launching a national review into the killing of Arthur to protect other children from harm and identify improvements needed in the agencies that came into contact with him before his death.
Inmates have already made attempts to target Tustin.
Reports suggest that in a warning to her, extra salt was added to her food in reference to the extremely high sodium levels found in a post-mortem on Arthur.
In spite of the murder taking place a year ago, the body of Arthur has only just been released by a “passive” Hughes.
Tustin and Hughes were described in court as “utterly ruthless, unthinking and pitiless”.
Jailing her for at least 29 years, the judge, Mr Justice Mark Wall QC, said the trial had been “without doubt one of the most distressing and disturbing cases I have had to deal with”.
He told the pair: “In the last three months of Arthur’s life he was subjected to the most unimaginable suffering at the hands of both of you.”
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Arthur was found to have a “staggering’ 130 injuries all over his body after being hit, slapped, kicked, punched, and beaten, “over and over”.
During a pre-trial hearing in April 2021, Tustin’s barrister said her client had been receiving “significant and substantial threats”, although it is unclear if she was at the same prison at the time.
Speaking at a hearing on April 15, Mary Prior QC said: “She has had a significant deterioration in her mental health.”
They added: “There are significant difficulties for her in that she is currently housed in an environment where she is not receiving medication.”
Speaking of the threats she is facing, the lawyer ended: “And she is receiving substantial and real threats – and violence.”