I was Star Hobson's babysitter – I called social services but they said she was 'safe with mum'

THE babysitter of Star Hobson called social services after seeing bruising on her – but was told she was "safe in the hands of her mother".

Hollie Jones, 18, babysat tragic tot Star so often she called her "mum".

Star, who died aged 16 months, was tortured and starved by amateur boxer Savannah Brockhill, 28, in Keighley, West Yorks, during last year’s lockdown.

The toddler's mum Frankie Smith, 20 stood by as her vicious lover repeatedly used her tiny daughter as a punch bag.

Star's family have asked why social services and police didn't act despite five different relatives and friends raising concerns with authorities.

Hollie, a friend of Smith's, was the first to make a referral on January 23, 2020, eight months before Star died.

She told The Mirror: “Frankie would leave her in a baby walker on the carpet all day.

"She was still giving her baby milk at 10 months old.

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“I telephoned social services, and I was with Frankie and Star when social services rang her to tell her they were coming to see her in an hour.

"I thought it was a bit stupid, as it was like ringing a criminal and telling them they are going to come round and arrest them in an hour.

“Frankie spent the whole hour cleaning and tidying the house, we were at her mum Yvonne’s and getting Star all nicely sorted, covering up bruises.

“In the end it was two police officers that arrived, not social workers. I was holding Star and they spoke to Frankie. I think social services tried to see Frankie again but she was not at home.

“I later got a telephone call from social services telling me they are closing the case because Star is ‘safe in the hands of her mother."

In each case, Brockhill and Smith convinced social workers that marks on Star were accidental or that the complaints were made maliciously by people who didn't like their relationship.

Yesterday, Brockhill was convicted of murder, while Smith was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Brockhill put Star in a "choke slam" to punish her and made her face the wall if she misbehaved, the trial heard.

5 missed chances

SOCIAL workers missed five opportunities to save little Star.

  • FAMILY friend Hollie Jones first alerted social services on January 23 last year amid concerns over Smith’s constant absence and domestic violence.
  • IN May, Star’s great-gran Anita Smith contacted social services over “choke-slamming” of Star. They found no bruises.
  • A MONTH later, Star’s biological father, Jordan Hobson, contacted social services and police with photos showing brui- ses on Star. She was examined at hospital but the bruises put down as “accidental”.
  • DAYS later, family friend Rachel Whiteley reported abuse to social services after witnessing Smith “rag” Star at a barbecue.
  • ON September 2, Smith’s great-grandad, Frank, 68, contacted social services with a video of bruising to Star’s face and ears. His referral was classed “malicious” and the case closed on September 15. Star was murdered seven days later.

Smith also called her names like "little c***" while her partner swung her by the legs.

Hollie added: "I honestly feel quite gutted about the jury’s verdict on Frankie, I thought she should have been found guilty of manslaughter.

"I’m happy that Star has got some justice and really happy Savannah was found guilty of murder.

"But social services should have done 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

Hollie said she was “really angry” and that “social services need to step up more”.

She added: “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.”

Star was rushed to hospital from the flat where she lived with Smith on September 22last year with "utterly catastrophic" and "unsurvivable" injuries, prosecutors told the trial.

Star died in hospital from blood loss after her inferior vena cava – the largest vein in the body – was torn.

Medics said her injuries were usually only seen in car crash victims and had been caused by either "punches, kicks or stamps".

The tragic tot had also suffered a severe skull fracture and several other fractures to her tibia and ribs leading up to the fatal attack.

Poignant videos have now emerged of little Star in the months before her death on September 22 last year.

In one, the youngster looks adorable in a summer dress and pink flower bow in her hair.

She is being held by Brockhill as they stand in what appears to be a park.

The video was posted on Smith's Facebook on August 30 – just weeks before Star was murdered.

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