'I tell families they won't get justice in the criminal courts'

This time Ned, Laura and Adam meet Polly Herbert, a solicitor who represents the loved ones of those killed and seriously injured in road traffic collisions.

Working for the law firm Hugh James, Polly represented the family of Frankie Jules-Hough, a pregnant mother-of-two who was killed by a speeding driver who filmed himself driving in excess of 100mph, in May.

In 2022 judges were given the power to hand greater sentences to those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. With the powers coming into effect in summer 2023, Frankie’s tragic death was widely seen as a test. 

Despite Adil Iqbal’s driving being described by the judge as "the worst case of bad driving any of us can recall", Iqbal initially received a 12 year sentence. This was overturned at the court of appeal in October, as unduly lenient, following a campaign by the family, and extended to 15 years. 

Ms Jules-Hough’s partner, Calvin Buckley, asked how bad driving would need to be to warrant the full sentence. Iqbal had been driving at 123mph, while filming himself undertaking and swerving along the M66 in Bury in May. Ms Jules-Hough had broken down and was waiting in the vehicle with her two children and a nephew when Iqbal lost control while undertaking a motorbike rider, and hit her at more than 90mph.

The news of Iqbal's sentencing, and the appeal, were covered nationally, including here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-67099209. Calvin Buckley continues to bravely speak up for a culture change among young people, to foster respect on the roads.

In September the All Party Parliamentary Walking and Cycling Group released a Road Justice Report, with ten recommendations, including an end to exceptional hardship, removal of tolerances in speeding cases that allow drivers to exceed the limit without penalty, treating road crash victims as victims of crime, and appointing a commissioner for road danger reduction. You can read the report here: https://allpartycycling.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/APPGCW-Road-Justice-Report-2023.pdf

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Episode edited by Clare Mansell.

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