Star Hobson murder: Mother Frankie Smith's 'too lenient' prison sentence to be reviewed by Court of Appeal

The Attorney General has referred the sentence of Frankie Smith, mother of murdered Keighley toddler Star Hobson, to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

Smith was jailed last month at Bradford Crown Court for eight years after being convicted of causing or allowing the death of her 16-month-old daughter. Her partner, Savannah Brockhill, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years. The couple and Star lived in Keighley.

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Attorney General Suella Braverman said she had concluded that “I cannot refer Savannah Brockhill’s sentence”.

Frankie SmithFrankie Smith
Frankie Smith
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She 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.

“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.”