Mother of murdered toddler Star Hobson has 'unduly lenient' jail term increased

15 March 2022, 11:37 | Updated: 15 March 2022, 12:57

Star Hobson's mother Frankie Smith (left) has had her eight-year jail sentence increased
Star Hobson's mother Frankie Smith (left) has had her eight-year jail sentence increased. Picture: West Yorkshire Police

By Daisy Stephens

The mother of murdered toddler Star Hobson has had her prison sentence extended at the Court of Appeal.

Frankie Smith was sentenced to eight years in prison for causing or allowing her daughter's death, but on Tuesday the sentence was increased to 12 years.

Speaking after the judgment, Attorney General Suella Braverman QC said: "This is a tragic and extremely upsetting case and my thoughts are with all those who loved Star Hobson.

"This case involved prolonged cruelty and neglect, deliberate disregard, and a failure to take any steps to protect or seek assistance for her before and after her murder.

"No sentence can reverse this tragedy, but I welcome the decision to reflect the gravity of this offending by increasing the sentence today."

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The Attorney General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal in January.

She said the case was "tragic and extremely upsetting" and believed Smith's sentence was "unduly lenient".

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The 20-year-old was found guilty of causing or allowing one-year-old Star's death in December and was sentenced to eight years in prison the following day.

Her former partner, Savannah Brockhill, 28, was found guilty of murder and jailed for a minimum of 25 years.

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The jury heard in December that Star lost half the blood in her body after a fatal punch or kick damaged her internal organs.

She 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.

Mrs Justice Lambert, sentencing, said: "The level of force required to inflict these injuries must have been massive - similar to those forces associated with a road traffic accident.

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"Only you both know what triggered that fatal assault. The violent attack which led to Star's death was not, however, an isolated event."

Justice Lambert said Star endured two brain injuries, numerous rib fractures, "the fracture and refracture of her leg and a skull fracture".

Ms Braverman said she could not recommend any increase to the sentence imposed on Brockhill, who was handed a life sentence.