A LORRY driver who was focused on his mobile phone when he caused a horrific four-death pile-up deserved his 10-year jail term, top judges have ruled.

Tomasz Kroker, 31, of Trajan Walk, Andover, was jailed at Reading Crown Court on October 31 last year, but appealed against his sentence, with a hearing held on Friday, 1 December.

Tracy Houghton, 45, from Dunstable, her sons Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, and her partner's daughter, Aimee Goldsmith, 11, were all killed when Kroker smashed his articulated lorry into stationary traffic.

"The facts tell a horrific tale," Sir Brian Leveson told a packed Court of Appeal on Friday.

Kroker, a professional lorry driver with a clean UK driving licence and HGV licence, was travelling north from Andover on the A34 in Berkshire on August 10 last year.

Just an hour before starting Kroker's journey he had signed a declaration from his employers saying he would not use a mobile phone at the wheel.

But as he scrolled through the music selection on his handheld device, he failed to notice the traffic ahead.

By the time he looked up - less than a second before the collision - it was 'too late' and the lorry ploughed into a number of vehicles.

As well as the mother and children killed, Adam Pearson suffered life-threatening injuries and others were injured.

The prosecution said the queue of slow moving traffic would have been visible to Kroker for about 45 seconds.

Kroker, of previous good character, offered assistance at the scene and was 'remorseful', the court heard.

He admitted four counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

James Rozier, representing Kroker, described the way the judge sentenced him as "unorthodox" and argued his punishment was far too tough.

But Crown counsel, Charles Ward-Jackson, said Kroker had been 'driving for 45 seconds, for a distance of 1km along a dual carriageway, effectively with his eyes closed'.

He argued that the 10-year term was 'perfectly proper' regardless of how the judge reached that total.

Mr Ward-Jackson pointed to the four fatalities and the 'particularly horrifying circumstances' of the crash.

Sir Brian, who was sitting with Mrs Justice Simler and Judge Karen Walden-Smith, said: "The impact of this accident on so many lives has been truly devastating.

"It is not possible to read the victim impact statements without feeling enormous sympathy for those whose lives have been utterly devastated or irretrievably damaged by this accident."

He went on to rule that the 10-year term was 'a perfectly proper and sensible resolution to this extremely difficult and serious case'.