#AceNewsReport – Dec.15: Savannah Brockhill inflicted “catastrophic” injuries on Star Hobson, whose mother was also convicted of causing or allowing her death: Star suffered a cardiac arrest and died in hospital in West Yorkshire on 22 September 2020: Her mother Frankie Smith and Brockhill will be sentenced on Wednesday.
#AceDailyNews says according to a BBC UK News Report: Star Hobson Case: Savannah Brockhill guilty of murder after 7-week trial …she will be sentenced on Wednesday …..
The jury in the seven-week trial heard that the infant, from Keighley, near Bradford, had been either punched, kicked or stamped on in the weeks and months before her death.
Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald QC said Star had “suffered a number of significant injuries at different times”.
These injuries included fractures to the back of the head and right shin, with the latter “caused by forceful twisting”.
CCTV footage, mobile phone pictures and video clips were shown to the jury, showing the child with various bruises and marks to her face and body.
In one piece of footage, captured at a recycling plant in South Yorkshire nine days before Star’s death, Brockhill appeared to be lunging at the infant three times in her car.
Star’s great-grandfather, David Fawcett, said the toddler’s death had “torn the family apart” and they would “never, ever, get over losing Star”.
“You just can’t believe we’re never going to see her again,” he said.
“It’s the facts of what happened to her as well, that’s killing us. To lose a child, it’s a horrible feeling. But it’s the way we lost Star that’s just horrendous.”
David Fawcett doted on great-granddaughter Star and said her death had “torn the family apart”
Mr Fawcett said the family felt let down by Bradford social services and Star’s death “could have been prevented if they acted sooner”.
Five referrals were made by family members and friends to Bradford City Council between January and September 2020, including a final alert from Smith’s grandfather, Frank, weeks before Star’s death.
‘Warning signs not seen’
Smith’s friend, Hollie Jones, who used to babysit Star, said she felt “really angry” and that “social services need to step up more”.
“I’m just really gutted because I think changes really need to be made…because if they took my referral seriously, potentially Star wouldn’t be gone.”
In a joint statement, Bradford Council, along with the city’s safeguarding agencies, said they “deeply regret that not all the warning signs were seen”.
“We are very aware as partners that there is much that we need to learn from this case.
“We have already put in place actions that will improve our practice so we learn those lessons. But we need to fully understand why opportunities to better protect Star were missed.”
David Fawcett: The toddler’s family say Star’s death “could have been prevented” if social services acted sooner when referrals were made to them
Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Social workers in our district support a great many children and young people and carry out work in circumstances that are often very challenging.
“It is essential, therefore, that lessons are learned from Star’s terrible death so we can better protect our children.”
The authority’s Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review into Star’s death is due to be published in January 2022.
The Department for Education said findings from the report would “feed into the national review of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death” which was commissioned earlier this month by the Secretary of State.
However, Robbie Moore, Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley, has called for the resignation of Susan Hinchcliffe and the council’s chief executive Kersten England in the light of the Star Hobson case.
Bradford Council bosses should hang their heads in shame.
I have no confidence children’s services will ever be fit for purpose under its current leadership.
I am afraid it is my view that Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe and Chief Executive Kersten England must resign.— Robbie Moore MP (@_RobbieMoore) December 14, 2021
Frankie Smith was cleared by the jury at Bradford Crown Court of an alternative count of manslaughter.
So soon after the distressing details of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ last difficult months, we are again trying to understand why a child was not better protected.
In Star Hobson’s case, her wider family was concerned, social workers and police visited, but none got a picture of what was really going on.
For both children, manipulative parents or partners kept questioners at bay, but there is a wider context.
In Bradford, the troubled children’s services department involved in Star’s case has struggled with high demand, high staff turnover and high caseloads for some social workers.
More generally, during a decade of squeezed budgets, children’s services have increasingly concentrated efforts on clearly high-risk cases. Research shows between 2010 and 2020, spending on early intervention halved.
This lower-level family support can head-off later problems and certainly Star’s mother was said to have struggled as a parent for some time.
It is impossible to know whether more family services, embedded in local communities, would have made any difference in these cases, but we do know they provide an important safety net.
#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.15: 2021:
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