A blind pensioner who was jailed for killing another elderly man after he mowed him down in his car, has had his sentence referred to the Attorney General’s Office under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme.

Neil Pemberton, 81, was told nine years ago to stop driving due to his failing eyesight but lied to the DVLA to renew his license.

He should not have been behind the wheel of a car when he struck and killed Peter Westwell on Whalley Road, Langho on March 17, 2022.

In a cruel twist of ironic fate, Mr Westwell, 80, a much-loved grandfather and lover of the outdoors, had recently given up his driving licence on advice of his doctor due to his deteriorating vision, and had begun walking more as a result.

Lancashire Telegraph: Neil PembertonNeil Pemberton (Image: Lancs Police)

At around 12.45pm, he was crossing the road in Whalley Road, Langho, during his daily walk when he was hit and killed by Pemberton, who was speeding at the time.

Pemberton, of Brownhill Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving, and was jailed at Preston Crown Court for two years, eight months, earlier in December.

Now, his case has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme after a member of the public felt the sentence did not reflect the crime.

The Attorney General’s Office will now consider Pemberton’s case, and decide if there are grounds to refer the case to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient.

If it is referred, judges at the top court in the land will hear the case and then make a judgment; either agreeing the sentence was unduly lenient and extending it, disagreeing and leaving the sentence the same, or they may even refuse to hear the case at all.

If Pemberton’s sentence is referred, there is no guarantee it will be extended.

READ MORE: Blackburn OAP warned about eyesight mowed down granddad

Following his sentence, Detective Sgt Helen Parkinson, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Lancashire Police, said: “First and foremost, my thoughts today are with Peter Westwell’s loved ones.

“They have lost a much-loved dad, grandad, brother, uncle and friend in what was an entirely avoidable tragedy.

“Very sadly and ironically Peter was walking that day as he had been told he couldn’t drive for medical reasons.

“Drivers have a personal responsibility to make sure our roads are as safe as possible and making sure your eyesight meets the standards of vision for driving is an important part of that, just like checking your car is in a fit state to drive.

“Tragically, Neil Pemberton’s failure to meet that personal responsibility had all too obvious catastrophic consequences.”