Star Hobson's mum says partner told her to lie about where she was before tot's death
The court said the infant suffered "utterly catastrophic injuries" before her death.
Content warning: This article contains harrowing details of a child's death and alleged child abuse.
The mother of 16-month-old Star Hobson has said her partner told her to lie to emergency services about finding her holding the toddler ahead of the child's death.
Yorkshire women Frankie Smith, 20, and her partner Savannah Brockhill, 28, are currently on trial charged with murder and causing or allowing the death of little Star, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest on 22 September 2020.
Both women deny the charges against them.
Giving evidence this week whilst reportedly wearing a ‘Star’ bracelet, Smith said she previously lied about Brockhill being in a different room to the tot moments prior to the infant requiring medical attention on the day of her death.
Bradford Crown Court previously heard from a nurse at the hospital Star died in that the mum had told her she and Brockhill were in other rooms when "a loud bang" came from the living room, where she claimed her daughter had playing with two other children.
The nurse said Smith had claimed she and Brockhill rushed to the living room and reached it at the same time.
But this week, Smith said she had actually been in the bathroom when she “heard a bang from the living room” and rushed to find Brockhill sat on the sofa holding Star on her lap.
Whilst being questioned by her defence counsel, Zafar Ali QC, Smith said Brockhill told her to lie while at the hospital shortly after Star had died.
She claimed that when Brockhill told her to lie, her “head was all over the place” so she “wasn’t prepared to argue”.
“Savannah said there were armed police outside and we were going to get arrested, and said that if they ask to say we both got into the room at the same time, and she wasn’t already in there,” she told the court, per reports.
Describing what she now says actually happened prior to calling emergency services on the day of Star's death, Smith said she had needed to use the bathroom. As she had been on her period, she called Brockhill into the living room to keep an eye on Star.
“Normally Star comes with me, she tried to this time but I sat her down – I didn’t want her seeing blood,” she testified.
“I cleaned my legs, then changed my pad, bleached the toilet, then I sat back down to have a wee and then I heard a bang.
“I shouted in, 'what are you doing', I just heard a child, they went ‘Oh Star’. I pulled my pants up, didn’t wipe myself and just went straight into the living room.”
When she reached the room, Smith said she found Brockhill sat on the couch with Star.
She continued: “She had Star sat up on her knee, I asked what was up with her and she said Star was winded. Star looked like she couldn’t breathe properly.
“Savannah was blowing in her face. I said to her we needed to get some help and Savannah said no she’ll be fine, she’s just winded.
“Then Savannah said Star was going into shock, she put Star over her knee, pulled her little pink romper suit up, and her nappy down, and smacked Star’s bum.
“When she smacked her bum a load of sick came up, brown, like Weetabix.
“I was asking her to pass me Star, she was my baby. Savannah said no,” Smith told the court, adding that she asked to get some help only to again be told “no, she’s just winded, she’ll be fine.”
Smith claimed Brockhill then told her to get her phone and Google ‘shock’. When Smith returned with her phone, Brockhill was putting cold water on Star in the kitchen and then took her to the window “for air”.
“Savannah took Star to the floor in the living room and started doing CPR on her. Her hands were on Star’s chest. I said we needed to get help,” she said.
When asked by her defence counsel why she didn’t call for help before that point, Smith said she wanted to but had “believed Savannah when she said Star was ok”.
Brockhill finally called an ambulance and when paramedics arrived and took Star to the vehicle, Smith said “that’s when it all began to sink in and became real”.
The paramedics who responded to the scene previously told the court that Smith grew emotional in the ambulance “as it became clear what was happening”, and that she screamed and cried as she “began to realise the gravity of the situation Star was in.”
The trial continues.