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Attorney General Refers Frankie Smith’s Sentence to the Court of Appeal

The Attorney General is going to challenge the sentence given to Frankie Smith at the Court of Appeal as she has concluded that it is too low

The Attorney General, Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP, has referred the sentence of Frankie Smith to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.

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

Speaking about the case, the Attorney General 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.

“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.”

A date for the hearing at the Court of Appeal will be set in due course.


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