Frankie Smith, 20, and Savannah Brockhill, 28, are guilty of causing a string of distressing injuries to toddler Star Hobson, which ultimately took her life, in Keighley, West Yorkshire on 22 September 2020.
Brockhill has been found guilty of Star's murder. Smith has been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.
Guilty as charged
The couple, Smith and Brockhill finally found guilty.
While Smith acknowledged to being harsh to her daughter in court, her attorneys portrayed an image of someone with limited intelligence in a domineering relationship, with Brockhill delivering the deadly blows.
Before her death, Star had suffered previousinjuries, such as two old shin fractures, a skull damage and brain injury. The 16-month-old’s wounds revealed that the kinds of blow inflicted was no accidental death.
Their search history also read: ‘shock in babies’ and ‘how to bring a baby out of shock’ and phoned 999 in the last 15 minutes of Star’s life.
During the trial, harrowing videos and CCTV footages of Star being yelled at and thrashed were shown as evidence. Another clip showed the baby upset after Smith rattled her. The most grave offence was Brockhill ‘chokeslamming' the tiny toddler—she held Star by the neck and picked her off her feet, throwing her on the bed.
Star’s main vein, carrying blood back to the heart from the legs and other organs, was ruptured by alleged stomping. The report further said she had severe blood loss and bruising was extended all over her body, from a split to the liver, a tear to the bowel, to ruptured lungs and pancreas.
The Bradford Town Court stated regarding the blows that it was 'either in the form of punching, stamping or kicking to the abdomen.'
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC adds:
The reality is that the injuries suffered by Star were so catastrophic that there never was any real chance of saving her life.
It is the prosecution case that she was killed by the intentional infliction of injury and that the person or persons who inflicted these injuries intended, at the very least, to cause really serious harm to a helpless young child and that, in those circumstances, they are guilty of murder.
The couple will be sentenced on Wednesday.