THE jail sentence given to the mother of Star Hobson over the toddler's death has been referred to the Court of Appeal as the Attorney General believes it is too low.

Frankie Smith was convicted of causing or allowing the death of her 16-month-old daughter, who was murdered by her partner, Savannah Brockhill, on September 22, 2020.

Brockhill, 28, was convicted of the murder last month and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years, while Smith, 20, was jailed for eight years.

Following the conclusion of the eight-week trial and sentencing at Bradford Crown Court last month, a referral was made to the Attorney General under a scheme for sentences thought to be too lenient.

Now the Attorney General, Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP, has confirmed that she has referred Frankie Smith's sentence to the Court of Appeal.

She said: "This is a tragic and extremely upsetting case and my thoughts are with all those who loved Star Hobson. This vulnerable and innocent child was subjected to continued physical abuse, and her mother, Frankie Smith, allowed it to happen.

“This case will have caused upset to anyone who read about it, but my job is to decide if a sentence appears to be too low based solely on the facts of the case.

“I have carefully considered the details of this case, and I concluded that I can refer Frankie Smith’s sentence to the Court of Appeal as I believe it is unduly lenient.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Star HobsonStar Hobson

“However, I have concluded that I cannot refer Savannah Brockhill’s sentence.

"I can only challenge a sentence if it is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence. The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.

“Savannah Brockhill was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years before being considered for parole. As the Sentencing Judge remarked, 25 years is a minimum and she may serve longer. In my opinion, that sentence is not unduly lenient.”

The date for the hearing at the Court of Appeal is yet to be set.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Frankie SmithFrankie Smith

Under the rules of the unduly lenient sentence scheme, the Attorney General's Office had 28 days from the date of sentence to make a decision on the case.

They can decide to send the matter to the Court of Appeal, which can make a decision about the sentence.

The Court of Appeal may decide that the sentence: should stay the same; is unreasonably low and may increase it; or refuse to hear the case.

The scheme itself allows victims of crime, their families, prosecutors and the public to ask the Law Officers to review sentences for certain crimes that fall within the scheme that they believe are too low.

The ULS scheme only applies to certain sentences given in the Crown Court in England and Wales.

Brockhill murdered Star by inflicting a severe blow to the 16-month-old's abdomen, lacerating a main vein and causing her death within minutes.

Smith was in the next room at the time, but allowed a violent woman who she knew had assaulted Star in the past unsupervised access to her daughter which resulted in her being killed.

Star died in the Keighley flat where she lived with her mother.