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Star’s ‘abnormally compliant’ mother ‘obsessed’ with woman who killed helpless toddler

Star Hobson: Great grandfather recalls feeling concerned

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Frankie Smith, the 20-year-old mother, reportedly had an IQ of 70, playing with dolls until the age of 16. Her girlfriend, Savannah Brockhill, 28, who was today convicted of the murder of Star, was described by the toddler’s grandmother as an “evil monster”.

Smith was today jailed for eight years for allowing Brockhill to kill her child.

Brockhill received a minimum sentence of 25 years for murder.

It comes just 12 days after Emma Tustin, the stepmother of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, was jailed for his murder.

Following the sentencing, Smith’s mother Yvonne Spendley told MailOnline that Brockhill “is an evil monster and I hope she rots in hell. She deserves everything she’s got and more.

“She’s ruined Frankie’s life and the life of our family and killed my granddaughter.

“I hope she stays in prison for the rest of her life. There are no words to describe what a disgusting human being she is.”

Ms Spendley told the news outlet that she had not yet been able to forgive her daughter.

She said: “Frankie might not have been convicted of Star’s murder, but she played a role in it and that’s very difficult for me to accept or understand. It’s really messed up my head which is all over the place as I don’t know how I feel.

“But Frankie is my daughter and one day, I’m going to have to forgive her but not right now. I just can’t simply forget about her because she is my own flesh and blood.”

Star was taken to hospital on September 22, 2020, but prosecutors said her injuries were “utterly catastrophic” and “unsurvivable”.

Sentencing at Bradford Crown Court, judge Mrs Justice Lambert said Brockhill, a bouncer and security guard, said the “fatal punch or kick” caused the toddler to lose half the blood in her body and damaged her internal organs.

The judge added: “The level of force required to inflict these injuries must have been massive – similar to those forces associated with a road traffic accident.”

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However, it was not an “isolated event”, the judge said, noting that Star had also been found to have suffered brain injuries, numerous fractures on her body and a skull fracture.

The judge said: “She was also treated with, at best, callous indifference by you both and, on many occasions, with frank cruelty.”

Mrs Justice Lambert described Smith as “a rather immature and impressionable girl” who had become “obsessed” with Brockhill.

Ms Spendley said that local social workers “should hang their heads in shame. They are a disgrace.

“They could have put a stop to all this, but they didn’t. I would like to see them publicly named so that we can all know who they are.

“I will be making a formal complaint about them in the near future.

“What’s more insulting is that since the end of the case, Bradford Council’s social services department has not even got in touch with me to offer an apology or an explanation. This is not the end of the matter.”

The Mail reported a police psychiatrist found her to be “abnormally compliant” and “abnormally prone to going along with what an authority figure is telling her to do.”

Ms Spendley described her as “the girl who never grew up”, revealing that she played with dolls well into her teens.

She said: “Frankie was not the brightest of kids. She didn’t have any ambition or aims in life, but she was not nasty. She was just very innocent and very vulnerable.”

The Bradford Partnership, which includes the agencies which had contact with Star, said yesterday: “We need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect Star were missed.”

It added that a review into the case would be published next month, but it “deeply regrets” that “not all the warning signs” were spotted.

Susan Hinchliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said Star had been “let down”.

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