17 December 2021

Dad of murdered Star Hobson will never recover from losing ‘precious daughter’

17 December 2021

The father of murdered toddler Star Hobson has said he will never recover from the “callous and cruel way” in which his “precious daughter” was taken from him.

Jordan Hobson issued a statement after Savannah Brockhill was jailed for life for murdering Star and the youngster’s mother, Frankie Smith, 20, was handed an eight-year sentence for allowing her daughter’s death.

Mr Hobson, who is a university student, split with Smith before she started a toxic relationship with Brockhill, a judge heard earlier this week.

He said on Friday: “The horrific death of my beautiful baby daughter has left me devastated and I will never recover from the callous and cruel way in which Star was taken from me.

Savannah Brockhill was jailed for life for murdering Star, who was her girlfriend’s daughter (West Yorkshire Police/PA) (PA Media)

“No sentence that a court can impose will ever bring back my precious daughter.

“I would now request privacy so that I can start to grieve and begin to try and pick up the pieces of my life.”

Brockhill, 28, was told she must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before she is considered for release by a judge who said Star’s short life was “marked by neglect, cruelty and injury”.

The killing of Star and details of how she was subjected to months of assaults and psychological harm have caused a national outcry, especially as the trial came so soon after the case of murdered Solihull six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

As with Arthur, Star’s death has led to widespread questioning of the role of social workers and police in her life after it emerged friends and family had reported concerns on five separate occasions in the eight month before she died.

The horrific death of my beautiful baby daughter has left me devastated and I will never recover from the callous and cruel way in which Star was taken from me

Speaking in court on Wednesday, Mr Hobson father, Bernard, told Mrs Justice Lambert how 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”.

Bernard Hobson told the judge: “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 said: “Star was snatched away, her life had barely started.”

Jordan Hobson split with Smith when he went to be a student at Sunderland University.

Sentencing Brockhill and Smith on Wednesday, the judge said the “fatal punch or kick” to Star inside Smith flat in Keighley, West Yorkshire, caused the toddler to lose half the blood in her body and damaged her internal organs.

Frankie Smith allowed her daughter to die after starting a toxic relationship with Savannah Brockhill (West Yorkshire Police/PA) (PA Media)

She said Star was also found to have suffered two brain injuries, numerous ribs fractures, the fracture and refracture of her leg and a skull fracture.

The judge said the youngster was “caught up in the crossfire” of Smith and Brockhill’s relationship and said she could not understand how they could film her in humiliating and cruel circumstances.

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

The safeguarding partnership said a review into the case will be published next month, but it “deeply regrets” that “not all the warning signs” were spotted.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchliffe said Star was “let down”.

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.

Jurors heard Smith’s family and friends had growing fears about bruising they saw on the little girl in the months before she died.

In each case, Brockhill, of Hawthorn Close, Keighley, and Smith, of Wesley Place, Halifax Road, Keighley, 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.

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