Star Hobson: Killer stepmom wanted to shave little girl’s head for 'Gipsy baby' look
Star Hobson’s whistleblowing great-grandfather has revealed that murderer Savannah Brockhill wanted to shave off the toddler’s hair to make her look like a “Gipsy baby”. The revelation was made on Wednesday morning, December 15, just hours before Brockhill and her partner, Frankie Smith, who is Hobson’s biological mother, were sentenced at Bradford crown court.
Brockhill was found guilty of killing the 16-month-old and Smith was convicted of causing or allowing her death. While the 28-year-old, self-described as the “Number one psycho,” was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years, Smith, 20, was awarded eight years behind bars. Mrs Justice Lambert said on Wednesday, December 15: “The physical injuries that Star suffered during her life are only part – however, a very significant part – of the tragic story of her life. She was also treated with, at best, callous indifference, by you both, and on many occasions with frank cruelty.”
Hobson’s great-grandfather David Fawcett told GMB, “Savannah was slam-choking - some kind of move they do in kickboxing or karate or something - and she was throwing Star onto the bed, which was thought was a bit strange for an 11-month-old little girl to be doing. Then a day or so later we got word she was going to shave all her hair off, she wanted to be like a gipsy baby, and she was holding her above her cot by one leg. So that's when Anita [Hobson’s great-grandmother] said 'I've had enough, I'm going to ring the social services and try and get this sorted out'.”
But before social services reached the address and saw Hobson’s terrible condition, Smith covered her bruises with makeup. She also gave the child to babysitter Hollie Jones when the Bradford City Council social worker came to her Keighley home. Calling out the social workers, Jones told BBC, “The social workers rang an hour beforehand just to tell them they were coming. Frankie started cleaning Star, covering up bruises and things like that. She made me hold Star so that the social worker couldn't really see much of what she was like.”
She continued, “Later they told me they visited and they have no concern. That she's safe with her mother, there's nothing more that they can do and everything looks fine,” before adding: “It's like ringing up a criminal an hour before and saying 'I'm coming to get you'. It just doesn't really make sense. I think more things need to be put in place because parents that are abusing their children know how to cover it up.'”
Earlier after Brockhill’s conviction, Fawcett called her “pure evil” who “ascended from the bowels of hell and just completely devastated and wrecked our family and poor baby Star's life.” But defending his granddaughter, he added: “We saw Frankie covered in bruises long before things started happening with Star, so we knew then something was not right. We did our best, but she was isolated.”
Meanwhile, the Bradford Partnership, which includes the agencies that went for welfare checks for Hobson, said: “We need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect Star were missed.” The Department for Education called the case “deeply disturbing” and said that it would “not hesitate” to take away children's services control from Bradford Council “if necessary”.