'Insulting': Family lawyer slams 12-year jail sentence for speeding BMW driver who killed pregnant Hollyoaks actress

19 July 2023, 12:59 | Updated: 19 July 2023, 15:16

Frankie Jules-Hough was killed on May 13 on the M66
Frankie Jules-Hough was killed on May 13 on the M66. Picture: Handout/Facebook
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A BMW driver who was driving at 123mph when he hit and killed a pregnant mum-of-two has been jailed for 12 years.

Frankie Jules-Hough, 38, was 17 weeks pregnant with her third child when she died in the crash along with her unborn daughter.

Her son, 9, and four-year-old nephew suffered serious brain injuries as a result of the crash. Their long-term outcomes remain uncertain, the court heard.

Adil Iqbal, 22, was sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, on Wednesday.

Solicitor Rose Gibson-Harper, who represents the victim'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.

Frankie Jules-Hough
Frankie Jules-Hough. Picture: Family Handout

Frankie had stopped on the hard shoulder with a punctured tyre at around 3pm on May 13 to take a phone call when the crash took place.

Iqbal was driving with one hand and holding his phone with the other to film himself 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.

Frankie had been making a call to say she was going to be late when she let out a "blood curdling scream", the court heard.

Frankie died in hospital while her son and nephew were left in induced comas in intensive care.

Her other son, 2, was also in the car during the crash.

Iqbal admitted to causing the Frankie's death, as well as serious injuries to her eldest son, though he did not enter a plea to the same charge with regards to her nephew.

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."

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Following her death, a GoFundMe page was set up to help support Frankie's family in the wake of the crash.

A statement from her family read: "Words cannot express what her family and friends are going through now, not to mention her poor boys who now have to grow up without their mummy and sister they never got to meet.

"This is devastating! Frankie touched the lives of so many with her beautiful kind soul! Heaven has gained a true angel! May she rest in eternal peace with her baby girl!

"Frankie is now looking over the boys and we are sure she will be working her healing magic to make sure the boys pull through this."

Frankie Jules-Hough
Frankie Jules-Hough. Picture: Handout

More than £50,000 has been raised in her name so far.

Frankie was known for being an actress in Hollyoaks, having played Jess Holt on the show from 2000 to 2001.

Hough also appeared in Merseybeat, Heartbeat, Where the Heart Is and Wire in the Blood.

Solicitor Rose Gibson-Harper, who represents the victim'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."

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