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14th Dec 2021

Mother and partner found guilty of death of one-year-old girl

Sarah McKenna Barry

Both women denied murdering the child.

*Content warning: This story contains reference to child abuse.*

Frankie Smith and Savannah Brockhill have been found guilty of the murder of Star Hobson. Star was 16-months-old when she was killed at her home in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Smith was Star’s mother, and Brockhill is Smith’s partner.

As reported in Sky News, prosecutors in the case said that Star was “repeatedly assaulted over the weeks and months before her death”.

Brockhill was charged with the murder of Star, while Smith was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child. Both women pleaded not guilty.

Star passed away on 22 September 2021.

In the months leading up to her death, numerous friends and family members alerted social services with their concerns for Star’s safety.

After the first referral, police and social services visited but, according to Sky News, “no concerns were raised” and the case was dropped.

Star’s great-grandmother also alerted social services in May, but the case was dropped. Smith and Brockhill described the woman’s complaint as “malicious”.

Star’s father made a referral after he noticed bruising on the infant’s face, but Smith blamed her injury on an accident involving a coffee table.

Additional reports were made after Smith posted distressing videos of Star on Facebook.