Man jailed for 12 years for killing pregnant mum-of-two by dangerous driving in M66 crash near Bury

Video report by Granada Reports journalist Andrew Fletcher

A man who filmed himself speeding at 123mph as he weaved between motorway traffic has been jailed for 12 years after killing a pregnant mother-of-two in a road smash.

Adil Iqbal, 22, was driving with one hand and holding his phone with the other to film himself, possibly to upload to Facebook, as he tailgated and undertook other vehicles and swerved across lanes, reaching a speed of 123mph in his father’s BMW car on the M66 in Bury on 13 May.

Frankie Jules-Hough, 38, had pulled over on the hard shoulder with a tyre puncture, with her two sons and nephew in the car, and was making a call to say she would be late when she let out a “blood curdling scream”, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard.

  • Frankie Jules-Hough's family gave a statement outside court via their lawyers

Iqbal’s BMW 140i undertook a motorbike then swerved, over compensated and hit a crash barrier before spinning around and ploughing into Ms Jules-Hough’s Skoda Fabia at an estimated 92mph.

Ms Jules-Hough, 17 weeks pregnant with her first daughter, Neeve, suffered unsurvivable brain injuries. Her daughter died with her when she passed away two days later in hospital surrounded by her family, having never regained consciousness.

Frankie Jules Hough's family say she had a "heart of gold". Credit: Family photo

Her son, Thomas Spencer, aged nine, and nephew Tobias Welby were left in a coma suffering serious brain injuries and their long-term outcomes remain uncertain, the court heard.

Both spent weeks in intensive care in hospital.

Ms Jules-Hough was on the phone to Thomas’ father who, along with other family, dashed to the scene of the mangled car wreck, as emergency services and air ambulances descended.

Dashcam footage and footage from Iqbal’s phone was shown to the court, watched by relatives of Ms Jules-Hough, some of whom gave heart-rending victim impact statements before the defendant was jailed.

Emergency services at the scene of the crash on the M66. Credit: PA Images

GoFundMe appeal for the family of Ms Hough set up by a friend said she was 18 weeks pregnant expecting a daughter.

Paying tribute to her on behalf on her family, her brother-in-law Arron Welby said: "She was the most amazing person, she had a heart of gold. She was a dedicated, fierce mother and she was a fighter for her kids.

"She was the best auntie. She was a shining light, she would protect her kids with everything she had."

Passing sentence, Judge Maurice Greene told him: “She was killed as a result of the most indescribable reckless driving by you Adil Iqbal, leading to the devastation of a family.”

The road was closed while emergency services attended the scene. Credit: MEN Media

Solicitor Rose Gibson-Harper, who represents the Ms Jules-Hough's family, said: “Today’s 12-year sentence is insulting and an injustice to the catastrophic injuries little Tobias sustained, and the life sentence Mrs Hough’s family were needlessly handed following her and her unborn daughter’s death due to an act of sheer stupidity.

“Last year, judges were given the power to hand down greater sentences to those convicted of death by dangerous driving – previously, the maximum tariff was 14 years but it was increased to life imprisonment.

“This case stands as one of the worst examples of dangerous driving I have witnessed in my 27-year career as a catastrophic injury lawyer, and we expected the justice system to fulfil its duty and utilise its new-found powers.

“It is important to emphasise that dangerous driving is not a game. It has real and devastating consequences, and we must collectively work towards creating a society that values responsible driving and prioritises the safety of all road users.

"We urge everyone to reflect upon this tragic incident, which should serve as a wake-up call for humanity.”