Tragic Star Hobson’s mum could see 8-year jail-term increased as ‘staggeringly soft’ sentence sent to Court of Appeal

TRAGIC Star Hobson's mum faces longer behind bars after her jail term was deemed too soft by the Attorney General.

Suella Braverman has referred Frankie Smith's eight-year prison sentence to the Court of Appeal after deeming it "unduly lenient" following public backlash.

Smith was jailed for eight years after being convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child.

But now that could be increased – after officials deemed the sentence "too low based solely on the facts of the case."

This is the second time in two weeks that child killers' sentences in Britain have been reviewed under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.

The wicked dad and stepmum of tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, also face more jail time after their "lenient" sentences were referred to the Court of Appeal in December.

And now top judges will also consider Star Hobson's mum for the same increase of jail time.

Attorney General Ms Braverman 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.

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“This case will have caused upset to anyone who read about it, but my job is to decide if a sentence appears to be too low based solely on the facts of the case.

“I have carefully considered the details of this case, and I concluded that I can refer Frankie Smith’s sentence to the Court of Appeal as I believe it is unduly lenient.

“However, I have concluded that I cannot refer Savannah Brockhill’s sentence. 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.

“Savannah Brockhill was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years before being considered for parole. As the Sentencing Judge remarked, 25 years is a minimum and she may serve longer. In my opinion, that sentence is not unduly lenient.”


Brockhill stomped little Star to death after waging a campaign of brutal emotional and physical abuse against the tot.

She laughed as she was jailed as Star's heartbroken family slammed the "staggeringly soft sentences".

Smith's grandad Frank, 68, told The Sun: "Is that all Star’s life is worth? Frankie will be out in four years — how is that justice?

"She watched her child die. She lied repeatedly to cover hers and Brockhill's tracks. They both deserve to rot in jail. It’s disgusting.”

A safeguarding practice review has been launched into Star's death, which came just weeks after the horrific murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.

The boy's killers are also facing longer prison sentences after being referred just two weeks ago.

And Labinjo-Hughes' Scottish grandad also said his evil killers should face the death penalty after their "lenient" sentences were referred to a top court.

In a chilling echo of the six-year-old's death, there were five opportunities to save Star but the family's concerns were ignored by social workers and police.

Boris Johnson vowed that action will be taken to stop such "shocking and heartbreaking" tragedies in future.

He has now vowed to bring in a new “Arthur’s Law” so evil child killers will die behind bars.

It came after The Sun launched a Justice for Arthur campaign.

During a lengthy trial, jurors endured harrowing footage of Star looking badly bruised with a swollen cheek and marks to her forehead.

They also watched chilling clips of pub bouncer Brockhill punching and slapping Star with "considerable force" 21 times over a three-hour period.

The brutal attack took place in her car – with the forceful blows causing Star to fall out the vehicle at one point.

The crying toddler could also be seen painfully climbing up a flight of stairs while suffering from a broken shin as both women forced her to walk.

In another "disturbing and bizarre" clip, Star was filmed falling from her high chair and hitting the floor as music played over the top.

The monster couple also captured the youngster so exhausted she fell asleep in a bowl of food.


On September 22 last year, paramedics raced to the home to find Star lifeless, pale and wearing only a nappy.

She was in cardiac arrest and as they attempted CPR, Star vomited "large amounts" of brown material.

Audio of the haunting 999 call made by Brockhill a staggering 15 minutes after she battered Star was released by police.

She claims she was in the kitchen making a coffee when she heard a "bang" coming from the living room where Star was playing with three other children.

Brockhill adds: "I came out and the little lad's stood there and the little girl's on the floor and she was crying and then she was sick.

"Now she's just gone a little bit floppy to be honest with you."

When asked what the bang was, the monster says she doesn't know if Star had "fallen off the sofa" or if the horror happened when she was playing.

She adds: "I came in and the little lad was saying 'Star'…So I've obviously shouted her mum in, said 'sit up Star'.

"I've sat her up and I started to rub her back because she was like breathing but struggling.

"She started to be sick so I laid her on the floor."


Star was airlifted to hospital but sadly couldn't be saved and was declared dead shortly after.

The 16-month-old died in hospital from blood loss after her inferior vena cava – the largest vein in the body – was torn.

Medics said her injuries were usually only seen in car crash victims and had been caused by either "punches, kicks or stamps".

Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC said: "The reality is that the injuries suffered by Star were so catastrophic that there never was any real chance of saving her life."

When quizzed by police, Brockhill suggested the injuries were caused by a two-year-old child, which the prosecution branded "absurd".

Medics instead said the "degree of force" inflicted on Star was "so great" it was "quite impossible for the doctors to envisage it could have been inflicted by a child".

Mr MacDonald said: "The effect of such injuries was immediate and heavy bleeding into the abdominal cavity, which caused a catastrophic drop in blood pressure and unconsciousness and death within seconds to minutes.

“The assault or assaults that killed Star clearly involved the use of severe force and were obviously intentional. This little girl suffered no accidental death."


Doctors also discovered a number of "significant injuries" the baby had suffered "at different times during her short life".

This included two fractures to the right shin bone "caused by forceful twisting", a fractured skull and an old brain injury.

In total, she had 15 separate injuries to her head and ten bruises to her legs, ankles, feet and toes.

Star's great-grandad David slammed Brockhill after the verdict was reached after revealing his wife had asked social services: "Do you want another Baby P?"

He said: "To me she was just pure evil. I just can't believe she could do something like that to a baby girl.

"We were just a quiet, lovely family and she ascended from the bowels of hell and just completely devastated and wrecked our family.

"It's disgusting because there were five referrals. Not one of them did anything."

"It's just beyond belief, really."

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