Frankie Smith and Savannah Brockill deny murdering Star Hobson

Mother, 20, accused with her lover, 28, of murdering her 16-month-old daughter started ‘acting differently’ when the pair entered relationship and became ‘moody and mean’, court hears

  • Frankie Smith and Savannah Brockill are on trial jointly charged with murder
  • The couple, aged 20 and 28 are accused of murdering Star Hobson, 16 months 
  • A witness claimed Smith was a ‘nice and fun’ person until she met Brockhill
  • The pair, from Keighley, West Yorkshire both deny the youngster’s murder 
  • A mother, 20, accused of murdering her 16-month-old daughter along with her pub bouncer lover, 28, started acting differently after embarking on the relationship, a court has heard. 

    Frankie Smith, 20, and her girlfriend Savannah Brockhill, 28, are jointly charged with murdering Star Hobson by causing her ‘catastrophic’ abdominal injuries by punching of kicking the infant.

    But a witness told a jury that Smith, of Keighley, West Yorkshire, was a ‘nice’ and ‘fun’ person.

    ‘When she got with Savannah everything just went wrong,’ the witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury.

    ‘She started acting differently. It was like Savannah was controlling her, like she had something over her.’

    Bradford Crown Court heard Star started suffering bruising to her face and neck after Smith started a relationship with pub bouncer Brockhill in November 2019.

    The witness said she confronted Brockhill about the bruises, who replied ‘babies fall’.

    When Star was born Smith would ‘love her and cuddle her’ but after the relationship she would shout at her daughter, the witness said.

    Frankie Smith, 20, left, and Savannah Brockhill, right, are accused of murdering Smith's 16-month-old daughter Star Hobson

    Frankie Smith, 20, left, and Savannah Brockhill, right, are accused of murdering Smith’s 16-month-old daughter Star Hobson

    Bradford Crown Court heard Star Hobson, pictured, suffered 'catastrophic' injuries

    Bradford Crown Court heard Star Hobson, pictured, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries

    ‘I knew something was really wrong. Frankie was scared of Savannah, really scared.’

    Family members also started to notice bruising to Smith’s arms and legs and a black eye.

    On once occasion the witness saw Brockhill get Smith in a ‘strangle hold’ and threaten to choke her unconscious.

    The jury heard Smith was ‘moody and mean’ when she was with Brockhill.

    ‘But, when Savannah was around Frankie was a different person – fun, nice,’ said the witness.

    ‘She was a good person when Savannah wasn’t there, but when Savannah was there she was terrible.’

    The court heard concerned members of Smith’s family contacted social services a number of times about the bruising.

    ‘I knew Frankie would never ever hit that baby,’ said the witness.

    ‘We have been in touch with social services a lot of times, telling them Star was getting hit.’

    The court heard Smith's personality changed when she began a relationship with Brockhill, right

    The court heard Smith’s personality changed when she began a relationship with Brockhill, right

    The court heard that after Smith met Brockhill there was talk of changing Star’s name to Mary-Kate.

    The murder trial has heard that Star died on September 22, 2020 from injuries that could only have been inflicted by Smith or Brockhill.

    Brockhill and Smith, both from Keighley, both deny murder and also causing or allowing Star’s death.

    The trial continues.

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