Star Hobson's relatives to mark what would have been third birthday

Star Hobson’s relatives hope social services review into tot’s murder will stop other families suffering as they prepare to mark what would have been girl’s third birthday

  • The toddler died after suffering ‘utterly catastrophic’ and ‘unsurvivable’ injuries
  • Savannah Brockhill was jailed for life in December for murdering 16-month-old
  • Mother Frankie Smith was given eight years for allowing her daughter’s death 
  • Review into the tragic circumstances is set to be published later this month 

Star Hobson’s relatives say they hope a social services review into the toddler’s murder will stop other families suffering – as they prepare to mark what would’ve been her third birthday.

Bouncer and security guard Savannah Brockhill, 28, was jailed for life at Bradford Crown Court in December for murdering the 16-month-old at her home in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Brockhill was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison and the girl’s mother, Frankie Smith, 20, was given an eight-year sentence for allowing her daughter’s death.

The killing of Star and details of how she was subjected to months of assaults and psychological harm caused a national outcry, especially as the trial came shortly after the case of murdered Solihull six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Star’s relatives are now preparing a remembrance event in the hope of bringing the family together ahead of her birthday next weekend.

Great-grandfather David Fawcett told the BBC the approach of Star’s birthday ‘brings it all back’ for the family

Prosecutors described the injuries she suffered as ‘utterly catastrophic’ and ‘unsurvivable’


Savannah Brockhill (left) and Frankie Smith (right) were both jailed for their roles in Star’s death

How Star was victim of ‘petty squabbles and jealous fights’ 

Social services missed five opportunities to stop Star’s killers in the months before her death on September 22, 2020.

Prosecutors described the injuries she suffered as ‘utterly catastrophic’ and ‘unsurvivable’. 

Jurors heard that Smith’s family and friends had growing fears about bruising they saw on the little girl in the months before she died and made a series of complaints to social services.

In each case, Brockhill and Smith managed to convince social workers that marks on Star were accidental or that the complaints were made maliciously by people who did not like their relationship.

Prosecutors described how the injuries that caused Star’s death involved extensive damage to her abdominal cavity ’caused by a severe and forceful blow or blows, either in the form of punching, stamping or kicking to the abdomen’ – with all the force of a crashing car.

As doctors fought to save her, they found half her blood supply pooling in her abdomen and damage to her liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Yet by then, Star had suffered many serious injuries, skull and rib fractures, and a twice-fractured leg.

The couple would punish the toddler by making her face the wall, though she could barely stand. 

They took sadistic pleasure in videoing her as they abused her, filming her from different angles as she dozed off in her chair, toppled out, and hit her head on the floor.

Brockhill set the footage to music and sent it to friends with the caption: ‘I’ve laughed so hard.’ 

Justice Lambert QC, said Star had become a victim of the couple’s ‘petty squabbles and jealous fights’.

She said Star’s life was marked by ‘neglect, cruelty and injury’ before she was murdered by Brockhill.

Great-grandfather David Fawcett told the BBC the approach of the milestone ‘brings it all back’, and was proving difficult for great-grandmother, Anita Smith.

‘She just cries saying ‘she should be here, she should be here with us’,’ he said.

‘We go to her grave couple times a week and take fresh flowers and we’ll be doing something special for her at her grave on her birthday.’

Social services missed five opportunities to stop Star’s killers in the months before her death on September 22, 2020.

Prosecutors described the injuries she suffered as ‘utterly catastrophic’ and ‘unsurvivable’. 

Jurors heard that Smith’s family and friends had growing fears about bruising they saw on the little girl in the months before she died and made a series of complaints to social services.

In each case, Brockhill and Smith managed to convince social workers that marks on Star were accidental or that the complaints were made maliciously by people who did not like their relationship.

Prosecutors described how the injuries that caused Star’s death involved extensive damage to her abdominal cavity ’caused by a severe and forceful blow or blows, either in the form of punching, stamping or kicking to the abdomen’ – with all the force of a crashing car.

As doctors fought to save her, they found half her blood supply pooling in her abdomen and damage to her liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Yet by then, Star had suffered many serious injuries, skull and rib fractures, and a twice-fractured leg.

The couple would punish the toddler by making her face the wall, though she could barely stand. 

They took sadistic pleasure in videoing her as they abused her, filming her from different angles as she dozed off in her chair, toppled out, and hit her head on the floor.

Brockhill set the footage to music and sent it to friends with the caption: ‘I’ve laughed so hard.’ 

Justice Lambert QC, said Star had become a victim of the couple’s ‘petty squabbles and jealous fights’.

She said Star’s life was marked by ‘neglect, cruelty and injury’ before she was murdered by Brockhill.

A national review into the deaths of Star and six-year-old Arthur, who suffered similar abuse, will be published later this month – a process Mr Fawcett admits has been stressful for the family. 

‘I’m just hoping with this review they’ll [social services] learn from the mistakes they’ve made. We don’t want other families to go through what we’ve been through.’

TIMELINE OF STAR HOBSON’S SHORT LIFE

Star Hobson was only 16-months-old when she was killed at her home in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Here are some of the key events in her short life:

2019

May 21 – Star Hobson is born

November – Savannah Brockhill and Frankie Smith begin a relationship.

2020

January 23 – Smith’s friend Holly Jones makes the first contact with social services over concerns about domestic violence and how much time she is left looking after Star. Police and social workers visit Star but no concerns are raised.

Early February – Star goes to live with her great-grandparents, David Fawcett and Anita Smith at their home in Baildon, Bradford, after Smith says she has split up with Brockhill.

April 26 – Star is removed from Anita Smith’s house by her mother and taken to live with Smith and Brockhill.

May 4 – Anita Smith contacts social services after she is told about Brockhill ‘slam-choking’ Star.

June – David Fawcett posts a picture of Star with bruises on Facebook alongside a happier shot and with the caption ‘From this to this in five weeks, what’s going on Frankie?’

June 21 – Star’s father, Jordan Hobson, contacts social services. Police take Star for a hospital examination. Smith says her daughter had hit her face on a coffee table.

June 23 – Another friend of the Smith family contacts social services with concerns.

August 14 – David Fawcett and Anita Smith see Frankie and Star for the last time.

August 28 – David Fawcett is sent a video of Star with bruises and confronts Brockhill.

September 2 – Another of Star’s great-grandfathers, Frank Smith, contacts social services after seeing video of bruises on the youngster’s face. Social workers make an unannounced visit.

September 15 – Social services closes the case after concluding the referral to be ‘malicious’.

September 22 – Star is seriously injured at the flat in Wesley Place, Keighley, and dies later in hospital.

2021

December 14 – Following a trial at Bradford Crown Court Brockhill is convicted of Star’s murder while Smith is convicted of causing or allowing the toddler’s death.

Source: Read Full Article