A court has found Savannah Brockhill guilty of murdering her partner's 16-month-old daughter after “months” of physical abuse.

Bradford Crown Court was told that Brockhill inflicted "catastrophic" injuries on Star Hobson, before calmly calling 999 and telling the operator that the toddler had “fallen off the sofa”

Prosecutor Alistair McDonald told the jury that Star had suffered a sickening catalogue of injuries including fractures to her shin, ribs and skull as well as lacerations to a vein carrying blood between her leg and organs which leaked into her abdominal cavity.

Brockhill had been seen more than once treating Star with appalling cruelty – on one occasion dragging her along by her walking reins despite the fact that the little girl had a broken leg at the time.

Brockhill, a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter, bragged about her violent tendencies, branding herself the “number one psycho” in a Snapchat video warning people against making approaches to her girlfriend – Star’s mother Frankie Smith.

Brockhill had also been violent towards Smith as their relationship soured, and then her violent rages spilled over onto the defenceless toddler, who was beaten regularly.

One harrowing clip shown to the court showed Brockhill alone in her car with Star at a recycling plant in Doncaster. It shows Brockhill slapping Star nine times, punching her seven times and grabbing her twice.

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The catalogue of brutality reached a climax in September 2020. Star died in hospital on September 22 from "utterly catastrophic injuries" following repeated assaults. She had been either punched, kicked or stamped on.

Brockhill called an ambulance after assaulting the little girl, telling the operator that she had “been in the kitchen making a coffee” when she “heard a bang”.

“I don’t know if she’s fallen off the sofa… or… I don’t know…,” she said, saying the three children in her care had been playing together when the incident occurred.

She claimed to have given the fatally-injured child first aid before calling for an ambulance but that the victim had “been sick” and “gone floppy”.

When paramedics arrived at the couple's flat in Keighley, Yorkshire, they found Star "apparently lifeless, pale". The pair had delayed making a 999 call for over 11 minutes as she lay dying, instead making internet searches about "shock in babies".

A post-mortem examination found lacerations on her internal organs and bruising to her lungs and abdomen. She also had a range of other severe injuries which had been inflicted in the months leading up to her death.

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Giving evidence at Bradford Crown Court, consultant pathologist Professor David Mangham, an expert in bone fractures, said Star had suffered fractures to her skull, her right tibia, and two ribs.

Brockhill and Smith are both expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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