Star Hobson: bid for review of sentences given to Savannah Brockhill and Frankie Smith

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Savannah Brockhill was jailed for at least 25 years, while Frankie Smith was locked up for eight years

The Attorney General’s Office is considering a request to look at the sentences of Star Hobson’s murderer and the toddler’s mum to see if they are too lenient.

Savannah Brockhill, 28, was jailed for life on Wednesday for the 16-month old’s murder, and must serve a minimum of 25 years.

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Brockhill’s partner and Star’s mum Frankie Smith, 20, was locked up for eight years for allowing the death of the toddler.

The Attorney General’s Office confirmed on Wednesday evening a request for the sentences to be considered under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme had been received.

Star endured months of assaults and psychological harm before suffering “utterly catastrophic” injuries in her home in Keighley, West Yorkshire on 22 September last year.

Star Hobson (left), her mum Frankie Smith (top right) and her mum's partner Savannah Brockhill (bottom right)Star Hobson (left), her mum Frankie Smith (top right) and her mum's partner Savannah Brockhill (bottom right)
Star Hobson (left), her mum Frankie Smith (top right) and her mum's partner Savannah Brockhill (bottom right)

It had emerged that friends and family had contacted social services five times over their concerns about Star, yet the toddler remained with her mother and Brockhill.

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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.

Star was taken to hospital from the flat where she lived with Smith in Wesley Place, Keighley, on September 22 2020, but her injuries were “utterly catastrophic” and “unsurvivable”, prosecutors told the two-month trial.

What is the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme?

A Spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office confirmed the request to review the sentences: “We have received a request for these sentences to be considered under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. The Law Officers have 28 days from sentencing to consider the case and make a decision.”

The scheme is where a request can be made for someone’s Crown Court sentence to be reviewed if it’s thought to be too low.

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The Attorney General’s Office can review very low sentences given by the Crown Court in England and Wales if they’re asked to.

Only certain types of case can be reviewed, including:

  • murder
  • rape
  • robbery
  • some child sex crimes and child cruelty

Anyone can ask for a sentence to be reviewed, and only one person needs to ask for a sentence to be reviewed.

Star Hobson.Star Hobson.
Star Hobson. | Yvonne Spendley / SWNS

What was said during sentencing?

During the sentencing hearing the court heard Brockhill inflicted a punch or a kick with “massive” force similar to that seen in road accidents. The injuries led to Star bleeding to death.

Brockhill and Smith had also laughed after the toddler fell off a chair and hit her head, filming the incident, with Brockhill sending it to friends captioned “I’ve laughed so hard.”

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Mrs Justice Lambert told Brockhill during sentencing: “I do not find that your fatal attack upon Star was the culmination of a course of deliberately sadistic conduct by you or by Frankie Smith. Rather, as I have said, you Savannah Brockhill would lash out at Star when in a jealous rage. Frankie Smith was a neglectful and callous parent who thought only of her own interests.”

The offence Smith was convicted of carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment

Mrs Justice Lambert told Smith her “immaturity” was a “relevant mitigating factor” and said: “This was one of the reasons why I am sure that, so persistently, you placed your own interests above those of your daughter, Star. I also accept that on some occasions, Savannah was physically violent towards you. I do not accept that those acts of violence were frequent.

I accept however that it would have made it more difficult for you to have approached the emergency services or family and friends and report what you knew Savannah Brockhill was doing to Star. I take into account that you have no previous convictions. Most important however, I take into account that you have lost your daughter, Star. You played a role in her death by allowing that death. This is something which you will have to live with for the rest of your life. I do not underestimate the weight of that burden which you must carry.”

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