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15th Mar 2022

Star Hobson’s mother’s prison sentenced has been increased

Sarah McKenna Barry

*Content warning: this article references the murder of a child.*

Her sentence has been extended from eight years to 12.

Frankie Smith, the mother of Star Hobson, has had her prison sentence increased by the Court of Appeals in the UK.

Smith was originally sentenced to eight years in prison for causing or allowing the death of the 16-month-old, but today judges ruled that that sentence was too lenient and extended it to 12 years.

Her former partner, Savannah Brockhill, was found guilty of Star’s murder and she now faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 years.

Star died after she was taken to hospital in September 2020. The toddler had suffered prolonged cruelty and neglect.

As Sky News reports, Smith’s extended sentence was announced by Dame Victoria Sharp alongside Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Baker.

Dame Sharp said: “On the facts of this case, where Miss Smith had treated Star with such cruelty… the judge was wrong to identify this as a mitigating feature and then give it the weight she did.

“There was little, if any, to be said in mitigation. In our judgment no less a sentence than 12 years would meet the justice of this case.”

She highlighted how Star was “particularly vulnerable due to her very young age”, and how Miss Smith was in a “position of trust”.

The decision to extend the sentence was welcomed by Attorney General Suella Braverman QC who said: “This is a tragic and extremely upsetting case and my thoughts are with all those who loved Star Hobson.

“This case involved prolonged cruelty and neglect, deliberate disregard, and a failure to take any steps to protect or seek assistance for her before and after her murder.

“No sentence can reverse this tragedy, but I welcome the decision to reflect the gravity of this offending by increasing the sentence today.”