Star Hobson: Savannah Brockhill jailed for life for murdering lover's 16-month-old baby
Savannah Brockhill had tried to blame a two-year-old for causing the fatal injuries to Star Hobson
A female bouncer who stomped on her lover's 16-month-old baby girl and then tried to blame a toddler for causing the fatal injuries has been sentenced to life in prison.
Savannah Brockhill was ordered to serve a minimum 25 years behind bars on Wednesday after being convicted of the murder of Star Hobson on Tuesday.
Star was abused for months before her death the Bradford Crown Court earlier heard and 28-year-old Brockhill had tried to blame a two-year-old for causing the fatal injuries.
The toddler's mother, Frankie Smith, was jailed for eight years.
The 20-year-old was cleared of her daughter's murder on Tuesday but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.
The court earlier heard how Star had suffered major blood loss after the main vein carrying blood back to her heart from her legs and organs of the abdomen had been torn. She had also suffered a split to the liver, a tear to the fatty attachments of the bowel, and bruising to the lower part of the lungs and the pancreas.
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC said the injuries had been caused by a severe and forceful blow or blows, “either in the form of punching, stamping or kicking to the abdomen”.
He 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."
MacDonald said 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," he told the court.
MacDonald told the court that Star had been killed by the "intentional infliction of injury and that the person or persons who inflicted these injuries intended, at the very least, to cause really serious harm to a helpless young child and that, in those circumstances, they are guilty of murder".
The prosecutor said a pathologist had found the blows were delivered to Star with a "severe degree of force that is wholly incompatible with normal handling of a child of 16 months".
Medics arrived at the flat in Keighley, West Yorkshire, at around 3.49 pm on September 22 last year and found Star lifeless, pale, and wearing only a disposable nappy.
Star was in cardiac arrest and as they attempted CPR, she vomited "large amounts" of brown material, and a suction device was used to remove it, the court heard.
She was rushed to Airedale hospital – just six minutes away - where clinicians did everything they could to save her but she was pronounced dead that afternoon.
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“The reality is that the injuries suffered by Star were so catastrophic that there never was any real chance of saving her life," MacDonald told the court.
He added that it was "inconceivable" that any carer would wait 15 minutes to call an ambulance when a child was showing "symptoms of a medical catastrophe".
MacDonald told the court the couple tried to pin the blame on another child when quizzed by police which was "nothing short of absurd".
He said Brockhill and Smith both admitted to being in the flat when Star was injured, along with another child. Smith claimed to be using the toilet; Brockhill said she was in the kitchen.
The prosecution told the court how Star had suffered a number of "significant injuries at different times during her short life" and was "repeatedly physically assaulted over the weeks and months before her death".
Star had been found to have had two fractures to the right shinbone "caused by forceful twisting", a fractured skull, and an old brain injury.
MacDonald said: “Throughout the period when these injuries were caused, Star was supposedly in the care of these two defendants who were partners.
“Despite the catalogue of injuries of which we have spoken, at no time was Star taken for medical help other, of course, than that 999 call made in the last hour and 15 minutes of Star’s life."
The jury was shown distressing video footage, taken from Smith's phone, which shows Star being shouted at and forced to stand facing a wall.
The court also heard of a 'slam choke' that Brockhill used on Star, which involved her being picked up off her feet and held by the neck, and thrown onto the bed.
Social Services were kept away from Star, the court heard.