THE step-great-grandfather of murdered toddler Star Hobson has dismissed claims the 16-month-old’s grandfather Andrew Smith took his own life due to her killing as “ridiculous”.

It has been claimed by a national newspaper that Mr Smith committed suicide earlier this year due to the impending trial into Star’s death, in which his daughter – Star’s mum – Frankie Smith was a defendant.

Smith, 20, was cleared of murdering her daughter but found guilty of allowing her death and jailed for eight years last Wednesday.

Her girlfriend Savannah Brockhill, 28, was jailed for life for murdering Star on September 22, 2020.

In the national media, Star’s maternal great-grandfather Frank Smith – who has been separated from great-grandmother Annetta Smith for at least 20 years – said the impact of Star’s death and the allegations against Frankie Smith had become too much to bear for Andrew.

However, David Fawcett, Annetta’s long-term partner who has known Frankie Smith her entire life, and is Star’s de-facto great-grandad, denied Andrew took his own life.

Bradford Coroner’s Office said an inquest into the death of Andrew Smith is open, but a cause of death cannot be provided until the case is concluded.

Mr Fawcett said Andrew had had a problem with addiction his entire adult life that was an open secret, and it was this lifelong issue which had led to his death this summer.

He said: “I don’t know where that’s come from to be honest.

“What happened with Andrew was he went into hospital at the weekend. He’d taken something, it was well known he’d had problems with addiction since he was 16.

“It had caught up with him and affected his heart, they said it had weakened his heart, but then on the Monday he signed himself out, they begged him to stay as he needed more tests.

“But he left, he had some of his children at his house to stop with him. He went in the bedroom and one of the children went to see him.

“They rang Yvonne, they said ‘I can’t wake my dad up’, there were concerns, then some others went up and got an ambulance. He must have had another heart attack, they tried to resuscitate him.

“I don’t think it was suicide. It was through his heart problem caused by his addiction problems over a number of years, it had taken its toll.

“It wasn’t a case of deciding to take his own life; he’d asked to take his children, you wouldn’t do that if you were planning to commit suicide. I think the suggestion it was suicide is a bit of a ridiculous statement.”