Salman, 26, Jailed for Killing 2 while Using Cell Phone during Driving, lodges appeal

Salman Patel, 26, of Carham Road, Blackburn has requested leave to challenge his punishment for his role in the deaths of Shelby Maher, 17, and 23-year-old Rachel Murphy.

Patel was behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series, and engaged in a text conversation with his girlfriend when he ran over the pair at Brockholes Brow on the night of April 20, 2016.

He had pleaded not guilty to causing the deaths of the pair but was convicted by a jury in just 41 minutes of both offences. He was also banned from driving for nine years.

A Court of Appeal spokesman confirmed that Patel’s lawyers had lodged an application to appeal his August 2018 sentence.

“An application has been received. No date has been set for the hearing yet and what will happen first is that a summary of the case will be drawn up for consideration,” added the spokesman.

Police seized Patel’s phone, in the aftermath of the crash, the court heard, and found he had been texting his partner, asking her whereabouts.

Within 42 seconds of texting her, he had hit the two girls in the road. His next recorded call was when he rang the emergency services.

Patel, who had been on a shopping trip with his mother and sister in the car, insisted his last text had been when he was stationary at a roundabout, approaching Brockholes Brow.

He denied having his mobile in his hand when his car struck the victims, or being distracted.