A 20-year-old mother and her lover are accused of stabbing her 16-month old daughter to death.
Frankie Smith had a’strange, unhealthy obsession’ with Savanah Brockhill, her girlfriend of 28 years, at the expense her daughter Star Hobson. A judge was informed.
Smith and Brockhill are being tried for murder and causing or permitting the death of the child in their Keighley, West Yorkshire flat on September 22nd last year.
Brockhill stated, “We’re going down to murder” the day after Star’s death. The court heard that blood had been lost from the blood vessels carrying blood from her legs to her heart, as well as the organs in her abdomen, which led to major blood loss.
Smith’s sister, Alicia Szepler today said that ‘everything’ changed when the couple started dating. She claimed that Smith and her baby daughter were in a rift with the rest the family.
Miss Szepler was adamant when Zafar Ali, QC, representing Smith said: ‘They would sit on FaceTime and be texting for hours, and Smith would need to be prompted to take care of Star by you and your mom.
Frankie Smith had a’strange, unhealthy obsession’ with Savanah Brockhill, her girlfriend of 28 years, at the expense her daughter Star Hobson (pictured), according to a judge.
The court heard that the relationship became violent over time and Miss Szepler witnessed an incident at The Sun pub, Bradford, where Brockhill punched Smith in his face.
Brockhill initially tried to excuse the attack as a mistake. However, Miss Szepler, in her police interview, confirmed that there was intent behind her actions.
Miss Szepler stated in her statement, which was read out in court by Mr Ali: “Savannah tried to claim that she didn’t notice Frankie was standing there, and she’d done so by accident, but I literally observed her face and watched as she did it, she literally punched her in her face.
Mr Ali asked Miss Szepler this question: “Two days later when you next saw Smith she had black eyes and bruising to her legs and arms. Miss Szepler answered, “Yes.”
Brockhill accused Miss Szepler, in a text exchange that was read out by Mr Ali at court, of lying. She stated, “I’m fed up with the allegations and what’s happening since last week.”
Miss Szepler wrote, “Where did the bruises come? I know Frankie lies, but you’re both just as bad as one another.
Brockhill (right), and Smith (left), are currently being tried for murder and causing or permitting the death of the baby in Keighley (West Yorkshire), on September 22nd last year.
Another incident occurred when Miss Szepler, her aunt Antonia, and her niece were babysitting. After they went to get chocolate, the aunt posted a photo of the baby on Facebook.
Mr Ali said that Smith became very upset when she saw the photograph and begged for it to be taken away, because she was worried about Brockhill’s reaction to it.
Miss Szepler also agreed.
The baby died just days after the birth. Smith’s grandmother Anita Smith referred Smith in May 2020. Smith dismissed the referral as’malicious. Star was closed by Star workers.
Bradford Crown Court heard Smith was ‘childish’. She played with dolls until she was 17, the same age she had Star.
Brockhill (pictured here with Smith) stated that “we’re going down to murder”.
Miss Szepler took photos on June 21, 2020 of her niece’s injuries, and sent them off to the police. She later visited her home.
As well as the photos, Miss Szepler told police her sister would shout at Star ‘shut up you little c**t’ and deprive her of food.
Cross-examination revealed that Miss Szepler agreed with Smith’s admission that Smith was a slack mom’ before she met Brockhill.
Star’s auntie Melissa Dalby took Smith shopping just a few minutes before Star’s passing. While in the car Brockhill called to inform Star that Star was ill and was being sick.
Mrs Dalby said to the jury, “I told her she needed Star checked over by a doctor if it continued.”
Smith replied that she couldn’t take Star with her to the doctor, because she was afraid Social Services might get involved and Star would be taken from her.
Brockhill called Mrs Dalby the day after Star’s death. Brockhill told Dalby that they were going to be down for murder and that no one from Star’s families would be allowed at the toddler’s funeral.
Brockhill and Smith, both Keighley residents, deny murder as well as causing or allowing Star’s demise.
A few minutes before Star’s (pictured below) death Smith was taken shopping by Melissa Dalby, Smith’s auntie. While she was driving Brockhill called to report that Star was’really ill and was being sick.
Bradford Crown Court (pictured), heard Smith was ‘childish’. She played with toy dolls up until she was 17, the same age she had Star.
Prosecutors allege that the injuries were caused ‘either by punching, stamping or kick to the abdomen’.
Paramedics arrived at Star’s flat to find her lifeless, pale, and wearing only a disposable diaper.
Star was in cardiac arrest. Star vomited ‘large quantities’ of brown material while they attempted CPR.
She was then rushed to Airedale hospital – just six minutes away – where clinicians did everything they could to save her but she was pronounced dead that afternoon.
The trial continues.