Star Hobson was just 16 months old when she was killed in her own home in Keighley, West Yorkshire in September 2020.
In December 2021, the mother’s girlfriend (28) was found guilty of the murder, and sentenced to life in prison, according to a press release from the West Yorkshire police.
At the same time, Star’s mother (20) was sentenced to eight years in prison for causing – or allowing – her daughter’s death.
The judge ruled in court that Star became a victim of the couple’s toxic relationship, and that the child suffered “catastrophic injuries” by the 28-year-old, according to the BBC.
The 28-year-old woman has previously been an amateur boxer.
According to the judge, it was the 28-year-old’s fatal blow or kick, which was delivered with enormous force, that damaged Star’s internal organs and caused fatal internal bleeding, writes The Independent.
Will appeal the verdict
This week it became clear that she has decided to appeal the verdict.
The violent attack was not a one-time event, the court ruled in December last year:
The forensic pathologist found a number of other injuries to her body, including two brain injuries, broken bones, broken ribs and skull fractures, according to Sky News.
– Absolutely barbaric
In a press release, Detective Mark Swift, who led the investigation into the case, called the couple’s actions “completely barbaric”.
– This is one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking cases our team has ever seen. Star was a small baby who had her whole life ahead of her, and she died tragically in the hands of those who were to protect and take care of her, says Swift.
In the trial, it emerged that family and friends had repeatedly made a number of complaints to the child welfare service, including about bruises they had seen on the little girl. It writes Sky News.
In all cases, the mother and her boyfriend had managed to convince the social workers that the marks on the girl were due to accidents, and that the complaints were made by people who did not like their relationship.
Criticizes child welfare
Each time, child welfare officials must have concluded that the child was safe with the mother (20) and her boyfriend (28).
In retrospect, the child welfare service has been strongly criticized for not doing more to protect the little girl, writes The Independent.
In the wake of this tragic event, the city council of the English city of Bradford in West Yorkshire has been deprived of responsibility for the city’s child welfare. It reports, among others, Sky News and The Independent.
After a three-month investigation – and a devastating report to the Minister of Education Nadhim Zadhavi – the responsibility for the child welfare department will now be transferred to a new and independent foundation.
– Keeping vulnerable children safe from injury is not up for discussion. When a city council does not meet its obligations to do this, we will take action to protect the children and put their needs first, Zahawi told The Independent.
The newly established, non-profit foundation is subject to the city council, but will operate on its own under an independent board.