A FRIEND of murder accused Frankie Smith said she and partner Savannah Brockhill would “say Star’s bruises were from falls” before even saying hello when dropping the toddler off.

Holly Jones also told Bradford Crown Court of the time Smith bit her daughter Star Hobson’s fingers as a punishment, and how she would leave Star with her to go out drinking.

She was giving evidence in the trial into the alleged murder of 16-month-old Star Hobson in September 2020.

Smith, 20, and Brockhill, 28, both from Keighley, deny murdering and causing or allowing the death of Star at Smith’s flat in Wesley Place.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Miss Jones described how she would babysit Star.

She said how on August 27, 2020 she agreed to look after Star overnight and the next day.

When Smith dropped Star off, “she just said “Star had fallen down the stairs and had bruises”, Miss Jones said.

“Before even saying hello they’d say Star had fallen and had a mark.”

She described how Star’s face was bruised on her ear and neck, and the bruising “looked like a hand-print”. Star was also dirty, and Miss Jones’ cousin Natasha Maddocks filmed Star’s face.

She then got a call from either Smith or Brockhill saying they were coming to get Star, and half an hour later told her to bring Star out to the car.

Prosecutor Alistair MacDonald asked: “Did anyone say anything about Star’s condition?”

Miss Jones replied: “Savannah just told me Star had fallen down the stairs and that’s where the bruises came from.”

She also described another time Star had “multiple bruises all over her body” with marks on her legs, arms and body.

There was also an occasion when Smith “bit Star as a punishment”.

Miss Jones told the court they had been to the doctors, her, Brockhill, Smith and Star, and got food afterwards, but only for the adults, not Star.

She was sat in the back with Star, and gave her some food.

Miss Jones said: “My finger got in the way and she bit my finger. I don’t think she realised it was my finger. I shouted out.

“Savannah turned round and saw it and shouted at Frankie ‘what are you going to do she just bit Holly’.

“Frankie turned round and bit Star’s finger. Star started screaming.

“She said something like, “That’ll teach you not to bite people”. It left a mark.”

Miss Jones also told how she would look after Star so Smith and her mother Yvonne could go out drinking “coming in at 12am some times, 4am others”.

One one occasion, when Smith, Brockhill, Yvonne and sister Alicia had gone out leaving Miss Jones to babysit, she described how when they got home she heard screaming.

“I could hear Frankie screaming,” she said, “so I went upstairs and saw Frankie in her bedroom crying and Savannah stood up in another bedroom.

“I went to comfort Frankie and Savannah came in and grabbed the back of my neck and shouted ‘Who are you?’. I just left the room.”

She also told of a trip to Bridlington where she was left to look after Star for most of the trip, pushing the pram, on evenings and the journeys to the seaside town. When asked if she felt Smith was taking advantage of her, Miss Jones agreed.

The trial continues.