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Daily Record
Guy Bell & Chloe Burrell

Evil killer of tragic tot jailed for 25 years while mum gets eight

The mum of murdered tot Star Hobson and her partner have both been jailed.

Star, who was just 16 months old when she tragically died in September 2020, suffered severe injuries when she was brutally beaten by Savannah Brockhill, aged 28, who was convicted of the child's murder on December 14.

Yorkshire Live reports that Star's mother Frankie Smith, aged 20, was cleared of murder and manslaughter but was convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of causing or allowing the death of a child.

During their sentencing on December 15, Brockhill was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years.

Smith was jailed for a total of eight years.

Little Star Hobson (PA)

Mrs Justice Lambert instructed the pair to remain seated throughout her sentencing remarks.

“Her short life was marked by neglect, cruelty and injury. She was murdered by you Savannah Brockhill. Frankie Smith, it was your role as her mother to protect Star from harm. You have been convicted by this jury of failing to protect her," she said.

Mrs Justice Lambert added Frankie Smith took “full advantage” of those around her to go out and enjoy herself as a new mum.

Brockhill was described as the “leading force” in their relationship. Mrs Justice Lambert described her as having a “violent temper” and that she was “possessive” of Frankie Smith.

Mrs Justice Lambert revisited the devastating facts of the attack on Star during which she suffered a laceration to a vein carrying blood back to the heart.

The tot lost 50 per cent of her blood having been "kicked or punched" and her injuries were likened to those one would suffer in a car crash.

The fatal assault "was not an isolated event", Mrs Justice Lambert added.

Mrs Justice Lambert told the court Star Hobson was "caught in the crossfire" of the pair's relationship.

She said that Star was the victim of the "petty squabbles and fights" between Smith and Brockhill with Brockhill lashing out in a "jealous rage".

She added that Smith was a "neglectful" parent.

Mrs Justice Lambert addressed David Fawcett and Bernard Hobson, Star's paternal grandfather, and thanked them for their statements.

She also thanked babysitter Hollie Jones and paid tribute for everything she did by extending "great love and care" to Star.

A victim impact statement from Annetta Smith, Star's great grandmother, was read to the court during which she described her favourite memories of the toddler.

She described how Star's smile would "light up the room" and added she developed a cheeky personality.

Ms Smith's statement described how she would watch Star dancing while listening to Olly Murs or while David Fawcett, Ms Smith's partner, would play guitar.

Frankie Smith and Savannah Brockhill (Yorkshire Live)

She said: "I will treasure those memories of a content and happy child forever."

"We never expected to have her for 10 weeks and now I will look back on that time as some of my happiest days."

The heartbreaking victim impact statement from Ms Smith added that she used to take the youngster on her paper round.

Ms Smith said Star loved cats and she began to mimic her actions as she looked to encourage the cats closer to them.

Her statement said it broke her heart that she and her family could not make many more memories.

She added: "While I understand that I wasn't her mother, I truly believed Star was in a stable routine and was in a safe and loving environment."

Frankie Smith and Savannah Brockhill (Yorkshire Live)

Ms Smith added she and Mr Fawcett had been in a supermarket and picked up a snowsuit for Star.

She added: "Little did I know she would never get to wear it and I would never see her again.

"I can't find words to explain how devastating Star's death has been. She was loved by so many people. I can't come to terms with how unnecessary her pain and suffering was.

"All I want is Star back. I know she is never coming back and there is nothing anybody can say or do now about it. It doesn't stop me praying for it every day."

Ms Smith's statement ended with her describing how she and her family are "haunted" by Star's death.

Kath Goddard QC, representing Brockhill, had this morning revealed her client’s family had been targeted and assaulted in the aftermath of her murder charge.

Star Hobson's bruised face pictured in July 2020 (Yorkshire Live)

Ms Goddard said Brockhill’s family's home address was targeted and one family member had been "subjected to an extremely violent assault" during which he sustained a skull fracture. Other family members were also said to have been subjected to violence, threats and intimidation.

Brockhill's barrister added that Brockhill's family anticipate they will continue to be on the receiving end of intimidation and at "the very least unpleasant behaviour" which Ms Goddard said they do not deserve.

Ms Goddard's final submissions were that Brockhill was not as "robust" as people would expect someone of her age to be.

She added that Brockhill had suffered three seizures and two cardiac arrests having been found collapsed in prison.

Star Hobson (Facebook/Yorkshire Live)

Brockhill had been unconscious for an hour and 20 minutes and was later given CPR and intubated during the care of doctors at hospital.

Ms Goddard added that Brockhill was anxious to not delay the start of the trial and discharged herself.

Zafar Ali QC, defending Smith, told the court that Star's mum had low intelligence and that it was borderline extremely low.

He added that Smith herself had been the victim of domestic violence and that she was unaware of the assaults being inflicted on her daughter.

Mr Ali said: "She herself is a victim of the murder count having lost her daughter."

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