Hollyoaks star’s partner welcomes sentence review of driver who killed her in horror smash

The partner of pregnant Hollyoaks actress Frankie Jules-Hough, who was killed in a horror motorway car crash, has welcomed plans to review the prison sentence of the driver who killed her.

Adil Iqbal, 22, was speeding in his father's BMW on the M66 in Bury, Greater Manchester, when his car hit Frankie's on 13 May.

He was jailed for 12 years on 19 July, having pleaded guilty to killing Frankie, 38, and causing serious injury to her son Thomas, 9.

Frankie – who played Jess in Hollyoaks between 2000 and 2001 – also had her other son Rocky, two, in the car, plus her nephew Tobias, four, who was also badly hurt.

Thomas and Tobias were left in a coma suffering serious brain injuries, with both spending weeks in intensive care – their long-term outcomes remain uncertain.

Now her partner, Calvin Buckley, has said he's happy that the Attorney General's Office is to review the prison sentence, on the basis it is unduly lenient. The appeal could mean the sentence is then increased.

Mr Buckley said to the BBC: "I am happy that the appeal has been accepted. This is good news and hopefully the first step towards some form of justice for Frankie and Neeve."

He had previously said the killer's sentence was "lenient", "disappointing" and "insulting" to the family.

The court heard how Frankie had stopped on the motorway hard shoulder with a tyre puncture, when her car was hit. Tom Spencer, Thomas’s father, had told the court in a harrowing statement how he took the call from Frankie, saying she'd be late.

In a statement, he said: “’Hi, Tom’, I heard Frankie say before she let out the most blood-curdling scream. Next the impact and then silence. After a few moments, I could hear people trying to help. I heard a man say, ‘We’re not supposed to move bodies.”

Mr Spencer, who drove to the scene, added: “Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.” His son was “limp and lifeless” and he told him: “Daddy is here, mate. Please come back to me.”

Mr Iqbal had filmed himself speeding at 123mph as he weaved between motorway traffic. He 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.

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

Frankie, who was 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.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said: "After careful consideration, the Solicitor General has referred this case to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme as he agrees that it appears unduly lenient. It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence."

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