Partner of pregnant mother killed by speeding driver on M66 says the justice system has failed them

Frankie Jules-Hough who was killed on the M66 and her partner Calvin Buckley who has been campaigning for tougher sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving Credit: PA Images

The partner of a pregnant woman killed alongside their unborn child by a speeding driver has called for stronger deterrents - on the day his daughter should have been born.

Calvin Buckley should have been celebrating becoming a father, but instead was at the Court of Appeal to see three judges reconsider the sentence given to the man who killed his partner Frankie Jules-Hough and their unborn daughter Neeve.

Adil Iqbal, 22, had been filming himself reaching speeds of 123mph on the M66 when he lost control of his father's BMW on the M66, in May.

He then crashed into Ms Jules-Hough's car, which had pulled over on the hard shoulder with a puncture.

Frankie, 38, died in the crash in BuryGreater Manchester, along with her unborn daughter.

Iqbal was originally sentenced to 12 years for causing death by dangerous driving and was banned from driving for 14 years.

Since then Frankie's partner Calvin Buckley has been calling for harsher sentences for those convicted of dangerous driving, believing they should be handed life sentences.

"This wasn't an accident," he told ITV News. "This was a crime. Death by dangerous driving is black and white.

"I think if you're driving over a certain speed and if you're holding a mobile phone or if you're under the influence of drugs and alcohol, I think that is enough, it's black and white - life sentence.

"You've killed somebody. I don't understand what else would be needed or I don't see how any mitigating circumstances could reduce or lessen the impact."

Frankie Jules-Hough died after the crash in May, along with her unborn daughter Credit: Family photo

Ms Jules-Hough's son Thomas Spencer, nine, and nephew Tobias Welby, four, were left in comas suffering serious brain injuries, and their long-term outcomes remain uncertain.

Both spent weeks in intensive care.

On Friday 13 October three appeal judges in London increased Iqbal's jail term to 15 years after concluding the original sentence was unduly lenient.

But Mr Buckley says the justice system has failed him and his family.

"It's that feeling of injustice and the anger, thinking this is not right, how is this fair? How can the judge not see what we can see?" he said.

"How can they not value two lives lost and two sons losing their mother which the focus in the trial was never about the loss or impact he caused it was more looking at how to reduce his sentence."

After the court's judgment, outside the Court of Appeal, Mr Buckley said “Today should have been the proudest and happiest day of my life.

"Today [13 October] is the day Neeve was due to be born and make her making her entrance into the world. Instead I am in court fighting for their justice.

“Neeve’s death isn’t recognised in the eyes of the law. Frankie’s family and I was shocked and saddened by this decision.

“It was an insult to Frankie and Neeve’s memory and clearly didn’t reflect the devastation and loss caused.

“My life, like so many others, was turned upside down because somebody wanted to show off, brag, boast and feed their own ego.

Credit: Family photo

“The fact that (Frankie and Neeve) lost their lives in this way has made the tragedy more devastating.

“The way he drove that day was described as ‘an accident waiting to happen’. It was no accident, it was crime.

"A crime that could have been prevented and that needs a strong deterrent so that it doesn’t happen again.

“Our roads are being used daily as race tracks – endangering children and families’ lives for their own amusement.

“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."

Mr Buckley has spent the months following Frankie's and his daughter's deaths to join forces with the charity RoadPeace, to campaign for tougher sentences.

"[The justice system] has failed me and I think it has failed lots of other families and I do think it is broken.

"That's why I've wanted to get involved with RoadPeace and the campaign because its not just me, I've met other families and some of those sentences are even worse.

"It just don't make sense when you look at other crimes. People get longer sentences for lesser crimes, so I expected it to be a life sentence."

  • Greater Manchester Police released footage of Adil Iqbal driving one handed, reaching a speed of 123mph

Mr Buckley says he has not been able to grieve properly, and the lesser sentence handed to Iqbal has prolonged the agony.

"I thought, I need to use this tragedy to bring about change so it doesn't happen to other people," he added.

"My future was all planned out, all my thoughts and energy was going in to being a father, and having a family and it was all taken from me, and it does feel like the cruellest thing ever.

"You wouldn't wish it on anybody.

"It's with me every day the grief's there, the memories of that day will stay with me forever - it is just learning to live with it, and the only way I can live with it, is by trying to counteracting it with something positive.

"So from that I can always say that we've brought about some change, and that's what helps me."

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