Star Hobson’s granddad’s agony after toddler’s life was ‘snuffed out prematurely’


Bernard Hobson read a heartbreaking victim impact statement ahead of the sentencing of Savannah Brockhill and Frankie Smith at Bradford Crown Court where he shared the pain of not being able to see her grow up

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Star Hobson: ‘Pure evil’ murderer of toddler is jailed for life

Star Hobson’s grandfather has shared his agony asking why his grandaughter’s life was “snuffed out prematurely” as her killer was jailed for 25 years.

Bernard Hobson, 55, struggled to keep composure as he read a heartbreaking victim impact statement ahead of the sentencing of Savannah Brockhill and Frankie Smith at Bradford Crown Court today.

Bernard, whose son Jordan is Star’s father, said: “What did Star do to deserve that her life, which had just begun, be snuffed out so prematurely?

“It’s hard to comprehend that a girl that we knew could do something so heinous.”

He told a judge: “Star was snatched away, her life had barely started.

Bernard Hobson leaves Bradford Crown Court after the sentencing of his granddaughter’s killer and her mum
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Star Hobson was killed in her mum’s flat in Keighley, West Yorks., on September 22nd 2020
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“We will never see her grow into a beautiful toddler. She would now be two years and seven months old.

“We will never see her start school and become a teenager and a beautiful woman with the world at her feet.

“We never had the chance to hear her talk, hear her call us grandma and granddad and see her grow up as a treasured member of our family.”

Savannah Brockhill was jailed for 25 years at Bradford Crown Court of murdering 16-month-old Star

Pub bouncer Brockhill, 28, showed no remorse as she was jailed for life after a jury found her guilty of murdering 16-month old Star.

The toddler’s mum, Smith, 20, sat behind her in the dock crying, as she was given an eight-year sentence for allowing the death of a child.

Brockhill, an amateur boxer and security guard, who called herself the “number one psycho”, punched Star to death in Smith’s flat in Keighley, West Yorks., on September 22nd 2020.

Frankie Smith was given an eight-year sentence for allowing the death of a child

Jurors heard how Star had been tortured both physically and mentally during her short life.

She died of a cardiac arrest after being punched or stamped on.

Smith cried throughout Bernard’s impact statement.

Bernard said on Wednesday it was hard to hear during the trial about the “living nightmare” of her last months.

He said: “We will always have to live with the horror of what has happened to her.”

Star Hobson died from ‘utterly catastrophic’ injuries at her home

And he said he will be “forever filled with remorse and regret” that they could not keep her safe.

He said he will cherish the good times he had with “a sunny, happy and delightful baby girl”.

Bernard said his son could not bring himself to make a statement himself but said he is “heartbroken and haunted by his baby daughter suffering in her little life and her tragic death which didn’t need to happen”.

Jurors heard how social services received at least five referrals from numerous friends and family members about Star
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Great-grandfather David Fawcett, 61, said he “never” wants to see Brockhill out of prison after she “dragged Star to hell.”

He said: “We never want to see her out of prison. She’s evil beyond evil, like she wanted her to suffer.”

Hollie Jones, who babysat for Star and was the first to raise concerns with social services, said she was a “special little girl who brought me such joy and happiness”.

In a statement read to the court, she said: “Star was everything to me. She loved her cuddles and kisses and playing hide-and-seek.

“She had this unique laugh every time you’d find her hiding.”

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Hollie added: “I have a lot of anger inside because Star deserved so much more.”

Star’s great-grandmother Anita Smith looked after Star for about 10 weeks until April 2020, four months before she died.

In another statement read to the court, she said Star thrived during this time in a “safe and loving environment”.

Anita said she had a “close, loving bond” with her great-granddaughter, and said: “I will treasure those memories of a content and happy child forever.”

A post mortem revealed Star suffered serious injuries from previous attacks including a fractured skull
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She said: “I cannot find the words to explain how devastating Star’s death has been.”

A post mortem revealed serious injuries from previous attacks including a fractured skull that was like “crazy paving”.

During a six week trial, Bradford Crown Court heard how social services received at least five referrals from numerous friends and family members, but the couple dodged social workers and made up excuses for her injuries that were believed.

Hollie Jones, who babysat Star, said she was a ‘special little girl who brought me such joy and happiness’
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Justice Lambert QC said Star was the victim of the couple’s “petty squabbles and jealous fights”.

In her closing remarks, she added that Star’s life was marked by “neglect, cruelty and injury” telling the couple: “Star was caught up in the cross-fire of your relationship.”

Turning to Brockhill she said: “You have a violent temper” which caused Star to “bleed to death”.

Great-grandfather David Fawcett said he ‘never’ wants to see Brockhill out of prison
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She said: “The level of force required to inflict these injuries must have been massive, similar to those forces associated with a road traffic accident.

“Only you both know what triggered that fatal assault.”

Addressing Smith, she said: “You were a neglectful parent, even before you began your relationship with Savannah Brockhill.”

She said Smith would serve two-thirds of her sentence but would have to live with what happened to her daughter for the rest of her life.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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