A driver who killed a former Hollyoaks actor in a 123mph motorway crash has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Adil Iqbal was driving at dangerously high speed, holding onto the wheel with one hand and his phone with the other – possibly filming for social media - when he crashed into another car on the M66 near Bury, Greater Manchester on May 13 this year.
Iqbal was tailgating other drivers, swerving between lanes and undertaking when he crashed his BMW.
In that crash, Frankie Jules-Hough was killed and her nine-year-old son Thomas was seriously injured.
Her two-year-old son Rocco was also in the car, which was stopped on the hard shoulder, at the time of the tragedy.
Frankie was 17 weeks pregnant with a daughter, Neeve.
Her four-year-old nephew Tobias was also in the car and badly hurt in the incident.
The four injured passengers were taken to hospital by the air ambulance, with Thomas and Tobias placed into induced comas in intensive care because of their injuries.
Neeve died alongside Frankie two days later, surrounding by her family in the hospital.
22-year-old Iqbal was arrested at the scene, before admitting to the two offences at Minshull Street Crown Court last month.
The court was told that Frankie had suffered a puncture and had pulled over by the side of the road before making a phone call to explain that she’d be late.
Then – the court heard – she let out a ‘blood-curdling scream’ before Iqbal’s car, which had just undertaken a motorbike and over-compensated, hitting a crash barrier and spinning around, careered towards her Skoda Fabia.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, as did Thomas’ father who was on the phone at the time, but ultimately couldn’t save Frankie’s life.
Dashcam footage and footage from Iqbal’s phone was reviewed by the court, and victim impact statements from Ms Jules-Hough’s family were read before the defendant was sentenced.
Judge Maurice Green said: “She was killed as a result of the most indescribable reckless driving by you Adil Iqbal, leading to the devastation of a family.”
Prosecutor Rob Hall said that Iqbal was filming himself at the time of the crash, telling the court: "It may have been his intention to upload this video to Facebook as well.
"In the seconds before the collision, the dash of the BMW shows approximate speeds of 107mph, up to 123mph, which shows more than once."
Tom Spencer, Thomas’ father, 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'."
Upon arrival, he was met with an horrific scene.
"Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw,” he said.
The father of Neeve and Frankie’s partner, Calvin Buckley, added: "What I witnessed that day, that weekend, those hours of desperation, those minutes praying for a miracle or those seconds watching my partner take her last breaths, will stay with me for a lifetime."
Iqbal has also been banned from driving for 14 years.
Frankie played Hollyoaks character Jess Holt in the early 2000s, as well as featuring in shows like Wire in the Blood, Merseybeat, Heartbeat, and Where the Heart Is.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the three boys who survived the crash.Featured Image Credit: Greater Manchester Police/GoFundMe