The family of pregnant Mum, Frankie Julia Hough, killed by a dangerous driver who was speeding and filming himself at the wheel, have welcomed the news that his sentence has been increased to 15 years, but continue to ask ‘What exactly does a driver have to do to get a life sentence?’
Frankie’s father, Frank Hough, and her partner, Calvin Buckley, appeared on BBC Breakfast on Saturday, following the news that Adil Iqbal’s 12-year prison sentence had been increased by three years, on Friday (October 13, 2023).
On what should have been the birth date of Calvin and Frankie’s unborn daughter, Neeve, the Court of Appeal ruled that 22-year-old Iqbal’s original sentence had been unduly lenient.
Frankie, who was 17 weeks pregnant, was driving on the M66 in Greater Manchester on May 13, with her two sons and nephew in the car. The 38-year-old pulled over on the hard shoulder after discovering that she had a puncture.
Soon after, her vehicle was hit by a BMW being driven erratically by Iqbal, who was seen weaving in between vehicles, dangerously undertaking and reaching speeds of up to 123mph. He had been filming himself throughout the journey – holding the wheel with one hand and holding his phone with the other.
On Saturday, Calvin Buckley told BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie Stayt and Naga Muchetty:
“I was still hoping for a life sentence. I still want to campaign for people to get life sentences for causing death by dangerous driving. What makes it harder to understand is that the judge says he can’t think of a worse case of driving. So, it still asks the question, what more needs to be done for a life sentence?”
He added: “The actual experience yesterday was a lot different to last time. The focus was more on the family and the victims, and the judge was really sympathetic. And I feel he did everything he could within the limits in terms of sentencing.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since Frankie’s death, her father Frank told the BBC that sentences should be stronger to deter reckless drivers like Iqbal in the future. He said: “Speed kills and it devastates lives. If you want to go out there and ‘be a big man’ and film yourself driving at ridiculous speeds, know that now you’re going to get a minimum of 20 years in prison. Don’t do it.”
Frank and Calvin are both supporting the RoadPeace ‘Fix Our Broken Justice System’ campaign, which was launched last month, and is being backed by many other bereaved families, who feel similarly let down by the justice system.
Just two days later (Monday October 16, 2023). Calvin appeared on breakfast television again – this time on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, alongside RoadPeace CEO, Nick Simmons.
He told presenters Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid: “The ‘life sentence’ seems a bit of a token gesture. I don’t think anybody is going to be able to get it, because from what was said, it’s this whole ‘intentional side.’ That takes it to murder – that’s not dangerous driving. Also, you have to have a string of road offences, or have gone in prison for it, come out and then do it again.”
Susanna Reid asked Nick:
“How on earth does a person only get 15 years for a crime that is that devastating, when they were filming themselves speeding, weaving in and out of cars at 123mph? What more could they have been doing?
He told her: “It is just incomprehensible.and Calvin explains this so effectively. So many of our members have the most awful personal experience – they are bereaved or they have a life-changing injury. And then somehow the justice system manages to make that even worse. There are new sentencing powers, but there does seem a lack of consistency and a reluctance to enforce, which we are incredibly disappointed with. It’s hard to find the language to describe this.”
Read Calvin’s recent blog here.
Read more about the Fix our Broken Justice System here.
Updated on: 18 October 2023