Star Hobson, a 16-month-old toddler, was allegedly murdered last year in West Yorkshire. The court trial for murder is in progression.
Friend Holly Jones told Bradford Crown Court of a time when the young mother, Frankie Smith, bit her daughter Star Hobson's fingers and how she would callously leave the daughter behind to go out drinking.
Last Friday’s trial focused on the severe punishments imposed by the parents on the toddler.
Day 9 of trial: Accused bit the toddler
Frankie Smith, 20, and Savannah Brockhill, 28, are accused of causing a string of distressing injuries to toddler Star Hobson, which ultimately took her life, in Keighley, West Yorkshire on 22 September 2020.
Jones testified from behind a screen about how she would babysit Star. She narrated distressing incidences of the silent torture that Star had to face.
Jones tells the court:
Before even saying hello they’d say Star had fallen and had a mark.
In the trial, Jones informed the court that she, Brockhill, Smith, and Star had gone to the physicians and received food only for the adults on one occasion.
During that time, Jones sat in the rear of the car with Star and fed her.
My finger got in the way and she bit my finger. I don’t think she realised it was my finger. I shouted out. Savannah turned round and saw it and shouted at Frankie ‘what are you going to do she just bit Holly?’
Frankie turned round and bit Star’s finger. Star started screaming. She said something like, ‘that’ll teach you not to bite people.’
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.
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald asked:
Did anyone say anything about Star’s condition?
Savannah just told me Star had fallen down the stairs and that’s where the bruises came from.
According to Jones, Star had many bruises all over her body at another time, with markings on her legs, arms, and body, according to her.
Jones added that when Star passed away, a call was made to her by Brockhill and Smith. She heard them say:
‘We're going down for murder’ and Smith told Brockhill to ‘shut up’ like she was scared.
She also said that Brockhill 'told Smith what to say after Star's death', raising further suspicions on the couple.
Last week, the grandmother gave her testimony, where she mentioned Smith and Brockhill shared a toxic relationship. During the trial, harrowing videos of Star being yelled at to face the wall and stand were shown as evidence. Another clip showed the baby upset after Smith rattled her.
The most grave offence was Brockhill allegedly ‘chokeslamming' the tiny toddler—she held Star by the neck and picked her off her feet, throwing her on the bed.
The court will resume the cross-examination of Holly Jones this week. The trial continues.