SAVANNAH Brockhill told court yesterday it was her girlfriend Frankie Smith’s decision to cut off her family’s access to Star Hobson, but she supported it.

Many members of Smith’s family who routinely saw baby Star were cut off from her following a social services referral in May 2020.

Then then only saw Star a couple of times before her death from “unsurvivable” abdominal injuries in September 2020, aged 16 months.

Savannah Brockhill, 28, of Hawthorn Close, Keighley, continued to give evidence in the trial into the alleged murder of Star Hobson.

She and Frankie Smith, 20, of Wesley Place, Keighley, both deny killing the toddler.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court heard again yesterday how a social services referral was made by Anita Smith, Star’s great-grandmother, in relation in May.

This soured the relation between Smith and some family members, in particular Anita and her partner David Fawcett, who had cared for Star for several weeks earlier in the year.

Asked by her barrister Kath Goddard QC whose decision it was, Brockhill said: “ It was Frankie’s decision.

“She said she was told by the social worker to limit contact with the person who made the referral. I heard her say that, as it was a malicious referral. I supported her decision.”

She added that she did not tell, force or play any part in Smith blocking access.

Brockhill spoke to social services twice, first at Smith’s mother’s home and then a second time to give permission for them to perform a police background check on her.

When the next referral was made, which included police coming to take Star to hospital to be checked over by a paediatrician in June, was over a bruise on Star’s cheek.

Brockhill, explaining the bruise, said: “Star was playing in the living room.

“In the centre of the room is a mirrored coffee table and the drawer has a round crystal ball as the handle.

“She was playing with puppies but she was still unsteady on her feet at this point. She was running and fell into the table.”

On the referral, she added: “I was upset and angry that Frankie’s own family member could think she was hitting her child or letting someone else hit her.

“They didn’t even ask how the injury was caused, and made the referral without speaking to Frankie.

“I was scared Star would be removed from Frankie and put into care, and we wouldn’t see her anymore. I was scared for Frankie and Star, not myself. I loved Star to bits.”

Brockhill said this referral had a “massive impact” on Smith’s relationship with her family and “caused a lot of tension”.

“She was scared to take Star around her family, and that an accidental bruise like this could cost her Star. She became very shut off.”

She also told the court how from May to September her relationship with Smith continued to be turbulent, and said Smith became “more violent and aggressive” over the summer.

A covert recording from July she made of her arguing with Smith was played, in which Smith threatened to “murder” and “strangle the life out of” Brockhill when confronted about supposed lies she had told.

Brockhill said: “She was getting a lot more violent to me.

“Her temper had gotten worse, and was saying a lot of things about other people to me and about me to others, and when confronted she’d say it was lies.

“I started recording then to protect my own back and to show to her family.”

In the recordings there was mention of “putting her head underwater”, and Brockhill had Google searched ‘signs of an abused baby’.

She said: “It’s what I thought was happening to Star.

“I was aware Frankie had been holding Star’s head underwater, that she’d been squeezing her hands and bending her fingers back.

“She said she was bathing Star and she was throwing herself about and she held her head underwater ‘because she was sick of hearing her crying’.

“She promised she wouldn’t do it anymore.”

Despite the threats, Brockhill said she stayed with Smith after this “for the sake of Star”.

The trial continues.