Court of Appeals judges could increase Star Hobson’s mother’s sentence to eight years in prison for causing or allowing the child’s death.
Frankie Smith, 20, was jailed at Bradford Crown Court in December last year for her role in the death of her 16-month-old daughter, who was killed by Smith’s ex-partner, Savannah Brockhill.
Smith’s sentence has been referred to court by the Attorney General’s Office under the improperly lenient sentencing scheme, and senior judges will consider whether to increase it at a hearing on Tuesday.
Star died after being taken to the hospital in September 2020, having suffered “totally catastrophic” and “insurmountable” injuries at the hands of Brockhill.
Brockhill, 28, a doorman and security guard, was found guilty of Star’s murder, while Smith was found guilty of causing or allowing her death following a trial at Bradford Crown Court.
During the trial, jurors heard that Smith’s family and friends had growing fears about the bruises they saw on the girl in the months before her death and filed a series of complaints with social services.
In each case, Brockhill, of Hawthorn Close, Keighley, and Smith, of Wesley Place, Halifax Road, Keighley, managed to convince social workers that the markings on the Star were accidental or that the complaints were made maliciously by people they cared for. they did not like their relationship.
Prosecutors described how the injuries that caused Star’s death involved extensive damage to her abdominal cavity “inflicted by a severe and forceful blow or blows, whether in the form of a punch, a stomp, or a kick to the abdomen.”
Jurors also heard that there were other injuries to her body, which meant that “over the course of her short life, Star had sustained several major injuries at different times.”
In sentencing Brockhill and Smith, Judge Justice Lambert said that Star’s “short life was marked by neglect, cruelty and injury.”
It was found that he had suffered two brain injuries, numerous rib fractures, the fracture and refracture of his leg, and a skull fracture when he died.
Attorney General Suella Braverman announced in January that she would refer Smith’s sentence to the Court of Appeals, describing the case as “tragic and extremely disturbing” and saying she believes Smith’s eight-year term was “unduly lenient.”
However, he said he could not recommend any increase to Brockhill’s sentence, who was given a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Ms. Braverman said at the time: “This case will have upset anyone who reads about it, but my job is to decide if a sentence seems too low based solely on the facts of the case.
“I have carefully considered the details of this case and have concluded that I can refer Frankie Smith’s sentence to the Court of Appeals because I believe it is unduly lenient.
“However, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot refer to Savannah Brockhill’s sentence.”
Dame Victoria Sharp, Judge Sweeney and Judge Jeremy Baker are due to hear the case beginning at 10:30 am Tuesday.