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Ex-partner of M66 crash victim upset by appeal ruling on dangerous driver

Three appeal judges on Friday increased Adil Iqbal’s 12-year jail term to 15 years after hearing how he caused the death of Frankie Jules-Hough.

The former partner of a pregnant mother-of-two who died after a motorway crash has spoken of his disappointment after appeal judges reviewed the jail sentence handed to the “dangerous” driver responsible for the tragedy.

Three appeal judges on Friday increased Adil Iqbal’s 12-year jail term to 15 years after concluding that a sentence handed down by a crown court judge was sentence was “unduly lenient”.

They heard that Iqbal filmed himself driving a BMW at speeds of up to 123mph as he weaved between traffic on the M66 in Bury, Greater Manchester, in May, before losing control and ploughing into Frankie Jules-Hough’s Skoda Fabia.

Ms Jules-Hough’s former partner, Calvin Buckley, said October 13 had been the due date of their unborn baby daughter, Neeve.

Adil Iqbal court case
Calvin Buckley, 40, the partner of Frankie Jules-Hough, 38, speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London (PA)

“The judgment today is not we was hoping for and is a bitter pill to swallow,” said Mr Buckley.

“I ask the question: what more does somebody have to do get a life sentence for causing death by dangerous driving?

“I am disappointed that another opportunity has been missed to try and clamp down on the growing issues of dangerous drivers and lawlessness on Britain’s roads.”

He added: “No number of years can compensate for our loss – we were all given a life sentence.”

Lord Justice Bean, Mr Justice Murray and His Honour Judge Anthony Leonard oversaw a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

Solicitor General Michael Tomlinson had argued that the sentence was unduly lenient and asked for a review.

Appeal judges ruled in Mr Tomlinson’s favour.

“This is the worst case of bad driving any of us can recall,” said Lord Justice Bean.

“We find it hard to imagine a worse case of bad driving than this one.”

He said the case was exceptional.

Mr Tomlinson said he hoped the increased sentence sent a “stark warning”.

“Adil Iqbal’s driving that day ripped apart a young family that had so much to look forward to – not least welcoming a new baby.

“It is deplorable enough that he was travelling at such excessive speed but endangering lives further by filming himself was simply inexcusable.

“I am pleased the court has recognised the severity of his crimes and hope Iqbal’s increased sentence sends a stark warning to people who think it is acceptable to drive at high speeds and put the lives of others in jeopardy.”

Adil Iqbal court case
Adil Iqbal has now been jailed for 15 years (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Ms Jules-Hough, 38, had pulled on to the hard shoulder with a puncture, and had her two sons and nephew in her car, judges heard.

She was making a call to say she would be late when she let out a “blood-curdling scream”, they were told.

Ms Jules-Hough, who was 17 weeks pregnant, suffered unsurvivable brain injuries, judges heard.

She died two days later without regaining consciousness.

Her unborn daughter could not survive.

Ms Jules-Hough’s son, Thomas Spencer, nine, and nephew Tobias Welby suffered serious brain injuries.

Their long-term outcomes remain uncertain, judges heard.

Both youngsters spent weeks in intensive care.

Iqbal, from Accrington, Lancashire, who worked in a gym and coached boxing to “disadvantaged” children, had been driving his father’s car.

He had admitted causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Iqbal had been sentenced at a hearing in Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester in July.

Judge Maurice Greene had handed him a jail term totalling 12 years and spoke of the “most indescribable reckless driving”.

The judge had also banned Iqbal from driving for 13 years.

Appeal judges increased that ban to 15 years.

Judges heard that Iqbal had been convicted of driving without insurance in 2019 and in December 2021 posted a video to Facebook after filming himself speeding in a Lamborghini Huracan in Dubai.

Two months before the fatal crash, he was given a warning by police after being stopped while racing an Audi car on public roads.

On the day of the crash, other drivers’ dashcam footage caught Iqbal aggressively tailgating and undertaking on an A road leading to the motorway, with his car fish-tailing and swerving.

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