Two evil and heartless cowards have been found guilty of causing the death of a defenceless baby girl in Keighley.
Star Hobson was just 16 months old when she was taken to hospital on 22nd September 2020 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
She sadly died the same day.
Police arrested her ‘mother’ Frankie Smith and partner Savannah Brockhill shortly after Star’s tragic and violent death.
28-year-old Brockhill an amateur boxer and security guard who called herself the “number one psycho”, punched defenceless 16-month Star Hobson to death.
She had been in a “toxic” relationship with Star’s mother, Frankie Smith, for ten months at the time of the sickening murder.
Following a forensic post-mortem, experts discovered the extent of Star’s injuries; she had suffered significant damage to her internal organs and had a fractured skull.
A pathologist found the main vein carrying blood back to the heart from Star’s legs and organs of the abdomen had been torn, as well as Star’s liver and the fatty attachments of the bowel called the mesentery.
There was bruising over the lower part of the lungs and over the pancreas.
Numerous friends and family members of Star called Bradford social services to express concerns about her during her short life.
The first referral was made in January 2020.
But Smith fobbed off social workers, somehow persuading them the referrals were ‘malicious.’
Bradford council said a local child safeguarding practice review was ongoing and would be finalised after the trial’s conclusion.
In September last year, both women were charged and pleaded not guilty to the offences against them.
Over the past eight weeks, both appeared at Bradford Crown Court on trial for Star’s murder.
A jury found Savannah Brockhill guilty of murder and Frankie Smith guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.
In shocking acts of depravity, Smith and Brockhill also filmed many acts of vile cruelty against the defenceless child, sending them to ‘friends’ for their own twisted and evil amusement.
Other shocking incidents were caught on CCTV.
Brockhill sometimes edited the footage by adding dramatic music and captions.
The cowardly women could be heard laughing as they filmed Star falling off a chair or down the stairs.
Brockhill admitted she found them funny, comparing them to ‘You’ve Been Framed’ clips.
Halfway through the seven-week trial at Bradford crown court, Smith pleaded guilty to eight instances of child cruelty against Star between April to September 2020.
She would make Star stand facing a wall for long periods and would deliberately try to scare her.
A few days before the murder, she dragged defenceless Star through Bradford town centre on her reins, despite Star having broken her leg after Brockhill attacked her the previous week.
Both women insisted they had no idea about the fracture or how it came about.
They will be sentenced at 2 pm tomorrow (15 December).
The sentencing comes at a time when the vast majority of the general public are demanding ‘whole life’ sentences for anyone who is convicted of killing a child.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Swift, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry team, who led the investigation, said:
“This was one of the most distressing and heart-breaking cases our team has seen.
“Star was a young baby who had her whole life ahead of her and she tragically died at the hands of those who were meant to protect and care for her.
“Star, who was just 16-months-old, suffered catastrophic injuries and tragically she was not able to survive despite medical intervention at hospital.
“The trial has lasted for several weeks now and it has been harrowing for Star’s family to hear in detail the extent of the behaviour by these two women and the injuries to Star.
“I welcome the verdicts from the jury for both Smith and Brockhill, their actions were absolutely barbaric against a defenceless young baby, whose life was cruelly cut short.”
Star’s paternal grandparents Bernard and Sharon Hobson, said:
“We wish to say that whilst the conviction brings us no pleasure, as it cannot bring Star back, seeing justice for Star will be our only comfort.”
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