An appeal to extend the sentence of an 81-year-old blind and deaf man who killed a fellow pensioner by driving dangerously has been unsuccessful.

An application was made under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme to the Attorney General's office to review the sentence given to Neil Pemberton, who killed 80-year-old Peter Westwell when he hit him with his car in Whalley Road, Langho, on March 17, 2022.

Pemberton, of Brownhill Road, Blackburn, had been told nine years earlier to hand back his driving licence as he was unfit to drive due to his failing eyesight.

However, he lied for years to the DVLA to keep his licence. In a cruel twist of fate his victim, Mr Westwell, had recently handed back his licence on medical advice due to his worsening vision.

A much-loved grandfather who was fit and healthy for his age, Mr Westwell had taken up walking after giving up his car, and it was during this activity that he was hit by a speeding Pemberton as he crossed the road..

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

Pemberton was handed a two years, eight months prison sentence on December 6, but a member of the public made an application to the Attorney General's office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme asking for it to be reviewed.

After a period of review, the office of the Attorney General, Victoria Prentis MP, has opted not to pursue the case under the scheme, meaning Pemberton's original sentence stands.

If it had been referred, there was no guarantee it would be extended at the Court of Appeal, which could have extended the sentence, kept it the same, or thrown out the case and refused to hear it.

Pemberton is deaf and extremely visually impaired and was driving 18mph over the 30mph speed limit at the time of the fatal collision.

The court heard he had had no vision in his right eye since 2016 and poor vision in his left, and when asked to read number plates in a test following the crash from the required distance he was unable to.

Jailing him, Judge Simon Medland KC told Pemberton he was "selfish", knowing he was unfit to drive but continuing to do so and in the process killing Mr Westwell, from Billington, a fit and healthy man for his age.

As well as being jailed, Pemberton was also banned from driving for the rest of his life.

Judge Medland also called for a review into the mechanisms for checking the fitness of elderly people to drive to ensure they are robust enough to avoid future tragedies.