"We’ll never have another Christmas with Star, but always have the memory of her first and only Christmas with us."

These were the heartbreaking words of Bernard Hobson, paternal grandfather of murdered Keighley toddler Star Hobson, as he delivered a powerful victim impact statement at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

A clearly-emotional Mr Hobson, pausing at times to gather himself, recounted memories of a "sunny and happy" baby who he described as "so affectionate."

He told the court: "Our beautiful granddaughter was born in May 2019. I remember that day so clearly, holding her and feeling a great sense of pride.

"We brought Star home from hospital that day.

"Frankie was our son Jordan’s girlfriend but when she was born they were no longer a couple, but did spend time together before he went to university.

"Our relationship with Frankie had always been good and for the first eight months of Star’s life remained so.

"We saw Star regularly, she would stay with us overnight. We loved looking after her. When she was with us, she was a sunny, happy, delightful baby girl. She was so affectionate."

Mr Hobson paused with emotion, before continuing: "She was always smiling. She was loved by all members of our family.

"Star didn’t have the easiest start in life, suffering from reflux in the first few months, but she was an easy baby to look after, interested and observant, watching birds and fascinated by our tropical fish tank and pond in the garden. She loved looking at baby books with us.

"She took everything in her stride and had a sense of determination especially when learning to stand and walk, always trying again. We never did get to see her walk.

"We’ll never have another Christmas with Star, but always have the memory of her first and only Christmas with us and Jordan and seeing the delight on her face as she sat among her presents.

"We last saw Star on Mother’s Day, we made cards, painting her hand and footprints for her mother. We didn’t think then we would never see her again.

"Lockdown then began. Many family members bought presents in advance to give to Star on the day but we couldn’t, Frankie had cut us off.

"We texted her but she never replied. Lockdown seemed to us to be the reason we didn’t see Star. In July, Frankie agreed to meet us with Star in a local park, but she then blocked our calls and cut off communication.

"Yvonne told us Frankie had moved, but didn’t know where, but she said Frankie would come back.

"We always thought we’d get Star back in our lives like the first 10 months. But in the following weeks our anxiety grew, having sleepless nights trying to figure out how to bring her to us or to sort out contact.

"On September 22, when Star was just 16 months, we were called to say she wasn’t breathing and in hospital. That day is etched in our memories. Since that day our lives have changed forever.

"We’ve had anxiety, physical pain, and just asked why? It’s hard to know a girl we knew could do something so heinous.

"Our life has stood still, it’s affected my work, we have an awful emptiness that feels like it will never go away.

"Star was snatched away before her life had started, we never saw her become a toddler, start school, be a teenager, become a beautiful woman with the world at her feet.

"We never got to hear her talk, call us grandma and grandad. It’s agonisingly hard to accept the reality.

"We have been haunted by wondering what Star endured in the last months. Now we know it was a living nightmare. We have been horrified by the evidence, it’s been almost unbearable to see or hear what was done to her.

"We have already said we expected to be back in Star’s life. And we were, we had the privilege of laying her to rest, giving her the care, dignity and respect she didn’t receive in the last months of her life.

"Jordan cannot bring himself to make a statement, but he is heartbroken and haunted by his baby daughter's suffering and tragic death. She didn’t need to die, it was avoidable.

"The verdict brings us no pleasure, it will not bring Star back."

The court heard two more victim impact statements, read out by Alistair MacDonald, QC for the prosecution.

The first was from Anita Smith, Star's maternal great grandmother, which read: "From the day Star was born I immediately loved her. Frankie spent a lot of time at my house with Star.

"I loved spending this time with her, I formed a loving bond with her, she was a lovely baby.

"Some of my earliest memories are of bathing Star, showing Smith how to do it and her playing around.

"Star’s smile would light up the room, she loved it. She had a cheeky personality, I loved the way she looked at us when she did things she shouldn’t.

"She poked a hole in a paper lamp, I said, no, she looked back with a cheeky face.

"She loved dancing to music, I have videos of her dancing while David played the guitar. She was so happy, I will cherish those memories forever.

"Star lived with us for around 10 weeks, she thrived during this period. I look back on that time as some of my happiest days.

"When she woke up she was smile at me, then stare at David until he woke up, we’d find it really funny.

"I would take her on my paper round, she would copy me in calling cats over, it was adorable.

"I’d sit Star on the floor and give her some breakfast, she had a great appetite but she knew her own mind.

"I have a snowglobe on my TV stand, she loved playing with it and watching the figure inside it.

"These may seem like silly memories to some but this was Star, and it breaks my heart we didn’t get the chance to make many more.

"The day Star died I remember seeing a snowsuit in Star’s size, I said I would get it for Star.

"Little did I know she would never wear it and I’d never see her in it.

"Her death was devastating. Her pain was so unnecessary when we were all here willing to look after her.

"All I want is Star back, I know there is nothing anyone can say or do to change what happened but it doesn’t stop me praying every day.

"I kiss her photo every night and say goodnight Star, and morning beautiful when I wake up."

Next was a statement from babysitter Holly Jones, which read: "I will never forget September 22, I thought it was a sick joke. I was distraught.

"I would wake up every hour panicking she was gone, then remember she was.

"I had to quit college as I couldn’t cope, I couldn’t bring myself to go knowing I wouldn’t see her after on the way home on the train.

"When I looked after Star I struggled with my mental health, she was the only one who got me through it. When she died I struggled massively.

"Every time I saw Star she’d go into my arms and refuse to let go. I’ll never get to experience that again. I’ll never see her dancing to her favourite songs.

"It breaks my heart every single day, every day gets harder without her here, it’s a struggle knowing I’ll never see or hear her again.

"I have toys we got her, photos of Star in my room, they are a reminder of the little girl who brought me such joy and happiness.

"I gave evidence in court and followed the reporting of the trial. It not only saddened me but angered me, the unnecessary suffering Star suffered.

"I have a lot of anger in my, Star deserved more love, and to live longer than she did."