Following the horrible death of Star Hobson, Campaigners have called for drastic reforms to the UK’s Social Services System.

Savannah Brockhill, Savannah’s mother and Savannah her boyfriend murdered her 16-month-old daughter after she had suffered months of abuse at her Keighley, West Yorkshire home during the Covid lockdown.

Star’s great grandfather called Brockhill, 28 years old, ‘pure evil and ascension from the bowels hell’. Smith, 20 years, wept today when she was convicted for causing or allowing Star’s death.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, called this case “shocking” and said that it was heartbreaking. He also tweeted: “We must protect children against these barbaric crime and make sure lessons are learnt.” Nadhim Zhawi, the Education Secretary, said that they would never hesitate to take strong measures to prevent such tragic events from ever happening.

In the five months leading up to Star’s death, social services failed to recognize that Star had been a victim of her killers. This included Star’s great-grandfather’s spouse.

These verdicts today have fueled growing demands for radical reform in the wake of widespread outcry about Arthur Labinjohughes’ murder earlier this month by his cruel stepmother.

Anne Longfield was the former Children’s Commissioner in England and chairwoman of Commission on Young Lives. She warned that Covid locking down ‘has provided its own opportunities to those who harm groom abuse children’.

MailOnline spoke to her, saying that it was time for improving child protection and social support as a top priority. I trust that the government will quickly act on the suggestions from the forthcoming independent review into child’s social services.

“The tragic murders by Star Hobson, Arthur Labinjo Hughes and Star Hobson serve as a stark reminder that the social service system for our children is in crisis after many years of poor investment and declining family support.

MailOnline spoke with Dame Rachel de Souza who is currently Children’s Commission for England. She said that it was clear there were serious lessons to learn. The biggest problem facing us is to apply these lessons throughout the country. All of us who work with children must rise to the challenge.

She said, “The smiling face of Star Hobson shows us just how precious every child’s life truly is.” Although it is difficult to comprehend, the pain she suffered was not unimaginable. This case is not the first in recent weeks. We must ask hard questions to understand how and why.

According to the NSPCC, ‘we must prevent cruelty to children’. According to the spokesperson, Star Hobson’s childhood was tragically cut short. The affrontful fact that Star was hurt by people meant to keep her safe is unacceptable.

The Facebook post from Star's great-grandfather demanded to know why she had suddenly appeared with bruises

Star’s great grandfather posted on Facebook, asking Star why she suddenly looked bruised. 

Campaigners today led calls for a dramatic overhaul of the UK’s social services system following the horrific killing of little Star Hobson

Following the shocking death of Star Hobson, Campaigners are calling for drastic reforms to the UK’s Social Services System.

Former Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, the chairwoman of the Commission on Young Lives, warned that the Covid lockdown ‘has brought its own opportunities for those who harm, groom and abuse children’

Anne Longfield (former Children’s Commissioner in England), chairperson of the Commission on Young Lives warned that Covid locking down ‘has provided its own opportunities to those who harm and groom children’

Savannah Brockhill

Frankie Smith

Partner in Death: Savannah Brockhill (28) and Frankie Smith (20), were both convicted of Star Hobson’s murder.


Star Hobson, just 16 months old at the time of her death in Keighley West Yorkshire was shot and killed. These are the most important events from her brief life.


21 MayStar Hobson was born

November: Savannah Brockhill and Frankie Smith start a relationship.


January 23rd – Holly Jones (Smith’s friend) makes contact with social workers to discuss concerns regarding domestic violence, Star and the time that she has left caring for her. Star is visited by police and social workers, but there are no complaints.

Star is invited to stay with David Fawcett (her great-grandparents) in February. This follows Smith’s announcement that Star had split with Brockhill.

April 26, 2006 – Anita Smith takes Star from her house and she moves with Brockhill and Smith to Keighley.

May 4, Anita Smith calls social services to report Brockhill Star’slam-choking.’

June – David Fawcett posted a photo of Star with bruises and captioned it on Facebook with the caption “From this to that in five weeks,”

June 21st – Star’s father Jordan Hobson calls social services. Star is taken to the hospital by police. Smith said that Star had been hit on the face by her daughter while she was at a coffee shop.

June 23, 2009 – A friend from the Smith family calls social services to voice concerns.

August 14th – Anita Smith, David Fawcett, and Frankie Smith will see Star and Frankie for the final time.

August 28th – David Fawcett gets a video of Star bruised, and Brockhill confronts it.

September 2, 2008 – Frank Smith (another Star’s greatgrandfather), contacts social services following seeing video footage of the bruises on Star’s youngster. Social workers pay an unexpected visit.

September 15, 2015 – After concluding that the referral was malicious, social services close the case.

September 22, 2002 – Star becomes seriously ill at Wesley Place, Keighley. He later succumbs to his injuries in the hospital.


December 14, 2014 – A trial at Bradford Crown Court has concluded. Brockhill is convicted in Star’s Murder, while Smith is convicted in Smith’s Involvement.

“Star suffered horrific cruelty and brutality over several months, which no child should have to endure.”

Susan Hinchcliffe is the Leader of Bradford Council. She said that an investigation was underway to determine whether agencies had made contact with the family.

Robbie Moore (Tory MP) called Ms Hinchliffe, the chief executive of Kersten England, to resign saying that: “Bradford Council leaders should be shamed.”

Star’s tragic death was described by the Department of Education as ‘deeply concerning’. The Department for Education stated that it will ‘not hesitate to’ remove Bradford Council’s control over children’s services. The spokesperson for the Department of Education said that the Star’s funeral review will contribute to the nationwide review on Arthur’s demise, which was ordered by Mr Zahawi last Wednesday.

Star’s great-grandfather David Fawcett spoke out about how social services responded to Star outside the courtroom. “It is disgusting that there were five referrals. They did nothing. This is beyond all belief.

When asked if social services have missed the “blindingly obvious”, Mr Fawcett (also Smith’s grandfather) replied: “Yes.”

He stated, “I’m glad we got Savannah Brockhill killed.” Her actions were pure evil. She could have done that to my baby girl. Our family was a peaceful, loving family. She took our family to the depths of hell.

Mark Swift (West Yorkshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent) was interviewed outside Bradford Crown Court to determine if enough had been done in order to safeguard Star.

He explained that there is an ongoing review and review of the local child safeguarding practice.

“At the beginning of our investigation, I connected with the chair, Mr Mellor to ensure that that review could take place in a timely way and that all information can be shared, learned lessons and then, most importantly, that lessons are implemented.”

Swift stated that he couldn’t comment on the current review as it is still a work in progress.

He stated that Star Hobson, regardless of the outcome of this review, would be still alive if they hadn’t committed those same offences today.

Swift stated that West Yorkshire Police had “some contact with family” and has since referred the contact to its professional standards division, who in turn notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Smith was unable to control her tears as she listened as the verdicts were read as she stood with the other in the glass-fronted dock.

Star was brought to hospital in her flat, where she lived together with Smith, Wesley Place, Keighley. Prosecutors told the trial that Star’s injuries were “utterly devastating” and “unsurvivable”.

Jurors were told that Smith’s friends and family had grown increasingly concerned about the bruising she saw in her little girl over the last months of her life and complained to social services.

Brockhill and Smith were able to persuade social workers in each instance that Star marks were either accidental or maliciously made by those who didn’t like the relationship.

Star was killed by injuries to her abdomen that were described as severe, forceful, punching, stamping and kicking.

Star was also alleged to have suffered other injuries, which means that Star has sustained ‘a lot of substantial injuries at different times in her short lifetime’.

Alistair MacDonald, QC, the Prosecutor said that Star had suffered two fractures in his right leg due to ‘forceful twisting’. These were refractured after they healed.

He described also bruising to Star and a fracture at the back of Star’s skull. 

Police have released a harrowing picture of one of the bruises on Star's face that sparked calls to social services from family

Star was bruised on Star’s cheek by Star. Police released this graphic, which prompted calls from Star’s family to seek social services.

Star Hobson (pictured with Brockhill) suffered a cardiac arrest and died in hospital from appalling injuries inflicted on her

Star Hobson (pictured alongside Brockhill) experienced a heart attack and was rushed to hospital. She had suffered horrific injuries.

The jury heard the injuries which caused the toddler's death involved extensive damage to her abdominal cavity. Pictured: Smith and Brockhill

According to the jury, the injury that caused the death of the toddler involved severe damage to her abdomen. Photographed by Smith and Brockhill 

Footage was shown of Brockhill taking Star to a recycling plant where she worked and repeatedly hit her inside the car

Brockhill was shown taking Star to a recycle plant. She repeatedly struck her in the car.

A series of videos from a CCTV camera were shown to the jury. They showed Brockhill performing 21 strikes at Star over nearly three hours. Some of these clips were taken while Brockhill was still in his car seat.

According to Mr MacDonald, the footage was taken at Doncaster’s recycling facility where Brockhill worked as security guard. It was shot around eight days prior to Star’s death.

Brockhill appeared to punch and then slap Star, according to the prosecution. At one point the footage showed Brockhill stepping out of her car and throwing Star around. Star was also grabbed by her throat.

Star was seen falling from a plastic chair, hitting the floor, in another video that was also shown to the jury.

This was done by slowing down the footage on a mobile phone and adding music.

Star was also seen in another clip that was filmed by both of the defendants on their phones. Star fell asleep and took a bite out of a meal.

According to Mr MacDonald, the juror was told that while the youth had suffered from exhaustion and been treated with complete disregard by her family, he did not love them. In addition to physical and verbal assaults, he said that the victim suffered from psychological and cruelty in the months and weeks leading up to her death.

Some of Smith’s family members and friends shared concerns about bruises that they witnessed on Star. In some cases, Star was filmed.

Brockhill (28), of Hawthorn Close Keighley; Smith (20), of Wesley Place Halifax Road Keighley. Both denied being guilty of murder as well as causing or allowing Star’s death.

On Wednesday, they will be sentenced.

Social services cleared the killings of baby killers FIVE TIME: Star Hobson was killed by a Baby P. Star Hobson had been begging his great-grandparents for help. But, just one week prior to her death, their concern were considered’malicious. 

Star Hobson was killed by a couple of social workers who cleared her five times. One referral she received was even deemed’malicious’ one week prior to her murder.

Authorities fell for Frankie Smith (20), and Savannah Brockhill (28)’s lies, in spite of several concerns from relatives.

Star, who was so shaken by her abuse that she didn’t want to be bothered by any social workers visiting their Keighley house on September 15, 2013, walked onto a couch.

She was covered in bruises, but Brockhill explained that she fell down the steps.

In fact she was being ‘choke slammed’, swung by her leg and hit in the face by the twisted couple.

They called her a “brat” and made her stand in front of the wall during their cruel reign.

Star was allowed to stay with her father and two other friends.

The authorities were asked serious questions as Brockhill was found guilty of Smith’s death and Brockhill of her murder.

Two month ago the head of the council’s Children Services department Mark Douglas resigned.

Ofsted in 2018 rated the service as “inadequate” and stated that “some children were at risk of serious harm.” In June this year it was hit with a ‘direction to improve’ over a ‘slow pace of change’.

Lies from Frankie Smith, 20, and Savannah Brockhill, 28, were believed by the authorities

Authorities believed that Savannah Brockhill (28-year-old) and Frankie Smith (20 year olds) were telling lies

Abused Star was so dazed she walked into a sofa in view of social worker during one visit

One visit to Abused Star saw her so confused that she went into a couch in front of a social worker.

Bradford City Council head of Children Services Mark Douglas resigned in October this year

Mark Douglas, Bradford City Council’s head of Children Services Mark Douglas, has resigned as this October.

Star received treatment by the social services for the first time in January 2019, after Holly Jones (sometimes babysitter) referred Smith.

Star was being increasingly left with her and she raised concerns about domestic violence.

Trongs of days later, police arrived but found no problems. Smith was not at home when social services attempted to contact her on January 28.

She spoke to her family and the matter was closed.

Innocent Star Hobson was only 16 months old when she was killed in her Keighley home after five social services cases drop

Innocent Star Hobson had just sixteen months when she was shot to death in Keighley, after having suffered five social-services cases dropped.

Children’s boss quit before trial began 

The Children’s Services boss in charge of Star’s care quit his £121,000-a-year post just days before Smith and Brockhill went on trial.

Mark Douglas, Bradford Council’s third Director Children’s Services, resigned within three years.

In 2018, an Ofsted report labelled the department ‘inadequate and stated that some of its children were at risk.

Michael Jameson, the director of Gladys Rhodes White’s office, resigned shortly after publication.

 On his arrival in May 2019, Mr Douglas, formerly Director of Children’s Social Care at Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, vowed to ‘develop good and outstanding services for the city and district.’

Kersten England, the Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Council said that Mark would be the key to our success so that we can put the needs and voice of young people in the centre of all we do. 

Just before Bradford Crown Court started, the ex-social worker abruptly quit.

Star’s great grandmother Anita Smith contacted social services on May 5, to raise concerns about how her baby was being handled.

The mother and baby were both well taken care of by the couple who visited.

Frankie Smith was contacted by social services, Brockhill gave permission for them to conduct police checks.

Ms Smith stated that after making the referral she was called both a freak and a weirdo. She and Mr Fawcett also had Star access restricted. Star saw them only two more times before she died in September.

David Fawcett, her partner, said that the tot felt ‘depressed” after she returned to her mother.

According to him, she developed severe bruises all over her body and appeared to have lost the spark that she once had when she was with them. He said to the court, “I have never witnessed a baby so depressed in my entire life.”

According to Mr Fawcett, he confronted Brockhill over Star’s bruises. He was then told that ‘all children get bruises. 

He asked her how she managed to get one while she was living with him. She replied that she had hung up the telephone so he could post comparison photos on Facebook of Star without bruises and with. Frankie Smith blocked her after viewing them. 

Star’s father Jordan Hobson referred Smith to social services after seeing photos of Star’s battered face that he had taken with Brockhill.

Their home was again searched by police who found marks on the baby’s skull.

Smith claimed that Star had struck her head on the handle a coffee-table table’s top.

Two bruises were found on her cheek, and four on her back.

Smith and Brockhill's explanation that Star's bruises came from her playing with a puppy were believed by social services

Social services believed Smith and Brockhill when they claimed that Star got her bruises from playing with a dog.

Smith’s and Brockhill’s claims that she was playing with a dog were believed.

Rachel Whiteley, a good friend of Smith’s mother Yvonne Spendley, contacted the social services again on June 23. Star had been picked up roughly by Smith at a barbecue.

Ms Whiteley stated at that time, “I thought it was disgusting giving her barbecue food and the way she treated her.”

The case was closed by the social services in July. It is unclear what happened.

On September 2 Frank Smith – Star’s paternal great-grandfather – alerted social services to a video of Star with bruises on her face. Her mother had been reported to be in Scotland when they visited her. They returned the next day unannounced to find her at Brockhill.

Star became so unsteady that Star walked onto a sofa as they were sitting down. Brockhill explained that she fell down the steps and left bruises on her cheeks, right shins, and cheeks.

Police later learned that the killer had told them what she’d said to the social worker.

Social services ended the case on September 15, concluding that the referral was’malicious. Star, who was found fractured to her skull and ribs after being attacked by a gangster a week later, was killed. Star had suffered injuries to her vein that carried blood between her legs and her organs, which led into her abdomen cavity.

Alistair MacDonald (QC, Prosecutor) stated that injuries occurred due to a forceful and severe blow.

Smith and Brockhill were patient for fifteen minutes following the Star injury incident before they called 999. They then searched on the Internet for ways to save their baby from shock.

Video footage showing Star in distress at her house was shown to the jury. Mr MacDonald stated that it showed Star’s psychological and cruelty.

One clip shows Frankie Smith roughhanding an upset Star and making a persistent effort to get her out of the corner.

Ms MacDonald stated that it was impossible for a caregiver to delay calling for medical help for their 16-month-old child who had signs of an impending medical crisis.

“Any honest carer would not have taken more than 15 minutes to reach out to me by phone.”

Star also suffered two broken bones in his right leg, which he said was caused by forceful twisting. These fractures were refractured after they healed.

He described also a fracture at the skull’s back and Starbruising, which he said was’mostly non-accidental’.

According to the prosecutor, Star was also aware that Star had been charged with a crime. Star and her family were not informed of Star’s situation by social services.