A young mum and her partner inflicted horrific fatal injuries on their 16-month-old daughter who was subjected to “kicking and stamping” as well as a “slam choke” used to “toughen her up”, a court has heard.

Frankie Smith, 20, and Savannah Brockhill, 28, were charged with the murder of Star Hobson after she died on September 22, 2020, despite the best efforts of medics called to a flat in Keighley.

Bradford Crown Court heard Star’s efforts at breathing were “minimal” and her complexion was a “waxy grey” when medics found her almost lifeless body.

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Jurors were told she vomited large amounts of brown fluid in an ambulance prior to being rushed to hospital and died soon after, Yorkshire Live reports.

Prosecutor Alistair McDonald told the jury Star had suffered a catalogue of injuries including fractures to her shin, ribs and skull as well as lacerations to a vein carrying blood between her leg and organs which leaked into her abdominal cavity.

Videos and pictures shown to the jury saw Star with bruises to her face, eye and ear while Mr McDonald described a 15-minute window in which Google searches were made in relation to a child being in shock before Smith and Brockhill made the 999 call.

Star Alyssa Hobson
Star Alyssa Hobson

Mr McDonald went on to say almost half of Star’s blood had leaked into her abdomen from the ruptured vein and that the injuries she had suffered were “unsurvivable”.

Opening the case, Mr McDonald told the jury that a 999 call was made to police at around 3.45pm on September 22 last year.

He added that when medics arrived at the flat in Keighley, they discovered the body of an apparently “lifeless baby wearing only a disposable nappy”.

Mr McDonald went on to tell jurors that the reality was that Star suffered such catastrophic injuries that “there was never any real chance of saving her life”.

Frankie Smith is charged with the murder of Star Hobson, her daughter
Frankie Smith is charged with the murder of Star Hobson, her daughter

He added that there was a 15-minute window from when Google searches were made about shock in babies and the 999 call being made.

The prosecutor said that that is a “very long period indeed” adding it was “inconceivable” any carer would wait 15 minutes to call for professional help when their 16-month-old child had suffered such injuries.

Mr McDonald said Miss Brockhill claims to have found Star, who had been in the company of another young child, “all floppy” and she tried slapping her on the bottom in an attempt to revive her. She also tried to carry out CPR but mistakenly did so to the abdomen.

He said it would be “nothing short of absurd” to suggest the injuries suffered by Star were caused by a child.

The jury was then told about the horrendous injuries suffered by Star.

A vein from her leg and organs had been lacerated or torn. That led to bleeding into her abdominal cavity. That laceration of the vein had caused 300ml of blood to leak into her abdomen.

Mr McDonald went on to say that the blood in her body would have been 680ml in total - meaning just under half of her blood had leaked from her blood vessels.

She also suffered a laceration to her liver. She also had damage to her bowel, bruising to her lung and pancreas.

Mr McDonald added that Star’s injuries had been caused by a “severe blow or blows” in the form of stamping or kicking of the abdomen.

Further injuries were also described to the jury, including fractures to her shin bone. One of those fractures had been healing when it was fractured again. Both were said to be inflicted by “forceful twisting”.

Star had also suffered similar fractures to her ribs - once again with healing bones being refractured.

The toddler had also suffered a fracture to the back of her skull.

Jurors were told: “That little girl suffered no accidental death.”

Mr McDonald told the jury he would play several bits of footage of Star in which it would become clear that there was a “degree of cruelty and psychological harm”.

The court heard Star had lived with Frankie Smith’s grandmother and her partner from February 2020 until late April during which she was said to be a happy baby. But Mr McDonald said that changed when she returned to live with Miss Smith.

It was also revealed Frankie Smith had also suffered bruising at the hands of Savannah Brockhill.

Mr McDonald said at one point, Miss Smith’s grandmother had heard about a technique called a “slam choke” used by Miss Brockhill in August 2020. When her grandmother confronted her, Miss Smith said it had been used to “toughen up Star”.

Footage was also played to the court of Miss Smith recording herself telling Star to face the wall as a punishment.

Mr McDonald described that on one occasion, a friend of Miss Smith had been feeding Star when Star accidentally bit her finger. The friend is said to have recalled Miss Brockhill asking what Miss Smith was going to do about it whereupon Miss Smith bit Star’s finger.

Miss Smith, of Halifax Road, Keighley, and Miss Brockhill, of Ashbourne Road, Bradford , are both charged with Star's murder and causing or allowing the death of a child.

They deny both charges and the trial, which is due to last six weeks, continues.

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