Star Hobson's father speaks out about 'horrific death of beautiful baby daughter'

The father of murdered toddler Star Hobson has spoken out about his daughter's "horrific" death and said he will never recover from his grief.

University student Jordan Hobson issued a statement after his daughter's mother, Frankie Smith, 20, was handed an eight-year sentence for allowing her daughter’s death and Smith's partner Savannah Brockhill was jailed for life for murdering Star.

He said on Friday: “The horrific death of my beautiful baby daughter has left me devastated and I will never recover from the callous and cruel way in which Star was taken from me.

“No sentence that a court can impose will ever bring back my precious daughter.

“I would now request privacy so that I can start to grieve and begin to try and pick up the pieces of my life.”

Mr Hobson split with Smith when he went to be a student at Sunderland University. Smith later started a toxic relationship with Brockhill, a judge heard earlier this week.

At the court sentencing on Wednesday, Mr Hobson's father, Bernard, told Mrs Justice Lambert how his son could not bring himself to make a statement but said he is “heartbroken and haunted by his baby daughter suffering in her little life and her tragic death which didn’t need to happen”.

Bernard Hobson told the judge: “What did Star do to deserve that her life, which had just begun, be snuffed out so prematurely?

“It’s hard to comprehend that a girl that we knew could do something so heinous.”

He said: “Star was snatched away, her life had barely started.”

Great-grandfather David Fawcett plays the guitar for baby Star who shakes her head and bobs with the music. Star was just 16 months old when she died from 'unsurvivable' injuries.

Star died of “utterly catastrophic” and “unsurvivable” injuries after being taken to hospital from her home in Wesley Place, Keighley, on September 22, 2020, prosecutors said.

Sentencing Brockhill and Smith on Wednesday, the judge said Star's death was caused by a “fatal punch or kick”.

The judge said the youngster was “caught up in the crossfire” of Smith and Brockhill’s relationship and said she could not understand how they could film her in humiliating and cruel circumstances.

Brockhill, 28, must serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before she is considered for release.

The killing of Star and details of how she was subjected to months of assaults and psychological harm have led to widespread questioning of the role of social workers and police.

Friends and family had reported concerns about the toddler's welfare five times in the eight months before she died.

The trial came after the case of murdered Solihull six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

Jurors heard Smith’s family and friends raised concerns about bruising they saw on Star in the months before she died.

Brockhill, of Hawthorn Close, Keighley, and Smith, of Wesley Place, Halifax Road, Keighley, managed to convince social workers that marks on Star were accidental or that the complaints were made maliciously by people who did not like their relationship.

The Bradford Partnership, which includes the agencies which had contact with Star, said on Tuesday: “We need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect Star were missed.”

The safeguarding partnership said a review into the case will be published next month, but it “deeply regrets” that “not all the warning signs” were spotted.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchliffe said Star was “let down”.