THE first accounts of both defendants in the Star Hobson murder trial “prove” mother Frankie Smith was not in the room at the time Star was fatally injured, her lawyer said.

Giving his closing speech in Smith’s defence case today [Tuesday], Zafar Ali QC told the jury at Bradford Crown Court both Savannah Brockhill and Smith placed her as not present when Star was assaulted.

Smith, 20, of Wesley Place, and Brockhill, 28, of Hawthorn Close, both Keighley, deny murdering 16-month-old Star at Smith’s flat on September 22, 2020, and causing or allowing her death.

Star died from catastrophic abdominal injuries caused by severe blunt force trauma.

In his speech, Mr Ali played a clip of the 999 call made by Brockhill that day.

In it, Brockhill said: “I heard a bang and found Star laid on the floor, so obviously I shouted her mum in.”

Mr Ali told the jury that, “not realising the consequences of telling the truth, she gave Smith an alibi, and told the operator clearly that Smith was not in the room”.

He said it was only later, when Brockhill realised her “accident excuse wouldn’t wash, she changed her to say Smith was at the door”.

“That explanation is utter rubbish, you don’t shout someone in if they are at the doorway,” he added.

“It’s a tiny flat, you shout them in if they are not in the room.”

Mr Ali also pointed to a phone call made by Smith to her mother Yvonne Spendley in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

Smith said she couldn’t remember what she said in the call given the situation she was in, sat next to her dying daughter, but in evidence, Mr Ali said, Yvonne recalled it clearly.

Giving evidence, Mr Ali said, Yvonne told the court Smith said: “I don’t know what happened I was in the toilet, when I went back in Star weren’t breathing.

“Savannah was in the room with her trying to resuscitate her, I don’t know what happened, I just come in and that’s what it were like.”

Mr Ali said Smith’s story, given in her evidence, was “word for word” what she said in her first account.

It was this, he told the jury, which was proof that Smith had no involvement in the killing of Star Hobson whatsoever and that Brockhill was solely responsible for Star’s murder, “picking up where she left off on September 13 the minute she was left alone with Star”.

He also pointed to an agreed fact in the case, that while at Airedale Hospital, Smith and Brockhill entered a side room alone, an hour before being interviewed by police.

Speaking to the jury, Mr Ali asked: "Plainly Smith lied to police, but why? Because Brockhill told her to lie.

"When it was suggested she lied to protect Brockhill, she said 'nothing like that crossed my mind because I didn't know what had happened to Star at that moment'.

"An hour before the paediatric interview with Dr Taylor and the police, Smith and Brockhill are put on their own in a room at the hospital. You may think Brockhill had every opportunity to manipulate Smith then by telling her what to say."

Pointing to the CCTV from the recycling plant on September 13, Mr Ali agreed with the prosecution that it appears to show a "vicious, ferocious" assault by Brockhill on Star, and that "it would be obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse" what the footage showed.

He said that September 22 was " just a resumption of this escalation of violence, the very next time Brockhill has a moment's access to Star without another adult present" and it is "obvious Brockhill landed the blow that killed Star".

He also examined Brockhill's evidence of where she found Star, "between the kitchen door and the sofa", just feet away from where she said she was making a coffee and "clearly in eyeshot".

"You may think the suggestion that while Brockhill was in the kitchen, Smith murdered Star and left her by the kitchen door without Brockhill noticing is just complete rubbish," he added.

He said it was "clear and obvious to anyone" that Savannah Brockhill murdered Star, and that Smith wasn't in the room at the time.

On count two, causing or allowing the death of a child, he said Smith is not guilty as she had never suspected Brockhill of seriously assaulting Star, and she did not believe Brockhill would harm Star on that day.

"During that visit Smith went to the bathroom, and because she was on her period she didn't take Star. Within minutes, Star suffered fatal injuries.

"Should Smith have foreseen this? The Crown say she should have supervised Star at every second Brockhill was around, she wishes she had.

"Can you convict her because she went to the toilet?"

He told the jury, finishing his speech that nothing less than being sure of Smith's guilt will do, and if they are not sure, they must find her not guilty on all charges.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Lambert DBE the began her summing up of the evidence, which continues tomorrow [Wednesday].