Mother’s sentence to be reviewed for murder of 16-month-old daughter

Mother’s sentence to be reviewed for murder of 16-month-old daughter

The mother who murdered toddler Star Hobson may receive a longer jail sentence after the attorney general said it was “too low”.

16-month-old Star died in 2020 from a variety of injuries including fractures to her shin, ribs and skull after months of “neglect, cruelty and injury”.

Her mother Frankie Smith, 20, was sentenced to eight years for causing or allowing her death.

Smith’s partner, Savannah Brockhill, 28, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years for murder.

Suella Braverman said she had referred Smith’s sentence to the Court of Appeal as she thought it was “unduly lenient”.

Ms Braverman MP said: “This is a tragic and extremely upsetting case and my thoughts are with all those who loved Star Hobson.

“This vulnerable and innocent child was subjected to continued physical abuse, and her mother, Frankie Smith, allowed it to happen.”

However, she said she would not be referring Brockhill’s sentence to the Court of Appeal.

She said: “I can only challenge a sentence if it is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence.

“The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.”

Star bled to death on 22 September 2020 after suffering “catastrophic” injuries at the hands of Brockhill, her mother’s “violent-tempered” girlfriend.

Prior to her death, the couple had managed to fend off police and social workers despite five referrals from concerned family members and friends.

During the sentencing, the court also heard of a 15-minute period in which the couple made Google searches in relation to a child being in shock before finally making the call to emergency services.

Star’s great-grandfather, David Fawcett, said despite family members feeling Smith’s sentence was “too lenient”, his granddaughter would have to live with the death of her child “for the rest of her life”.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.