Star Hobson: 'She'd still be here if my concerns were taken seriously', says former babysitter

  • Report by ITV News' Hannah Miller

Warning: This article contains details which some readers might find upsetting

The former babysitter of Star Hobson, who was the first person to contact officials with concerns about her, says the toddler could still be alive today if she'd been taken seriously.

Hollie Jones regularly looked after Star before her death in September last year, aged just 16 months.

In the run up to this, she says she raised the alarm several times, but her warnings were not heard.

In one instance, in January 2020, she described how Star's mother Frankie Smith had covered up her daughter's bruises after social services told her they'd be visiting.

Social services and the police checked in again in May, June and September - just three weeks before Star's death - but again, nothing was done.

Following her own experience, Hollie's calling for better protection for children against abuse.

"I think more things need to be put in place, because parents that are abusing their children know how to cover it up," she said.

Credit: Family photo

In a statement, Bradford Metropolitan Council said it deeply regrets that not all the 'warning signs were seen' that could have led to firmer statutory enforcement action.

Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Frankie Smith, 20, was found guilty of causing or allowing Star's death at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (14 December), while her partner Savannah Brockhill, 28, was convicted of her murder. They will both be sentenced later today.

Star’s great-grandfather, David Fawcett, described Brockhill as “pure evil”, and said he couldn't believe she could do something like that to a baby girl.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, described the case as "shocking and heartbreaking", adding: "We must protect children from these barbaric crimes and ensure lessons are learned."