Investigations are being held after a pensioner who was jailed for 27 months for killing a woman died days after being locked up.

William Heagren, 87, from Harrow, has died just days after he was jailed on December 5 since he mistook the accelerator in his car for the break and reversed into Jeanette Newman, 64, in May 2018.

Since being jailed, he passed away on December 14, just nine days into his “manifestly excessive” sentence.

The Prison Service has confirmed Mr Heagren’s death while in custody at Wormwood Scrubs jail in north London and said a full investigation will take place.

Mr Heagren was jailed by Judge Lana Wood despite a plea by his lawyer to grant him bail while an appeal against his sentence was launched.

Harrow Times:

Jeanette Newman died after she was hit by a car in control of William Heagren (Photo: SWNS)

A Prison Service spokesman said: "“HMP Wormwood Scrubs prisoner William Heagren died in hospital on December 14.

“As with all deaths in custody there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

The pensioner was jailed after his Ford Fusion hit Mrs Newman and 53-year-old Sarah Taylor. Mrs Newman later died while her friend suffered life-changing injuries.

Reacting to the sentence at the time, Ms Newman’s partner of 25 years, Andrew Roberts, 58, said: “I was not expecting him to be jailed.

“It doesn’t give me any pleasure, but it proves there is justice after all.”

Harrow Times:

Andrew Roberts (left) and Jeanette Newman (right)

Mr Roberts, who is campaigning for Boris Johnson to introduce compulsory driving tests for motorists when they turn 70, said that he was told of Mr Heagren's death in jail by a police liaison officer just days before Christmas.

He said: "There are no winners in this situation.

"I said at the time he was jailed that he may not come out of prison, but I was still surprised by the news.

“I am a broken man since Jeanette was so violently and suddenly taken away.

"Hopefully there'll be some good comes out of this dreadful tragedy by adding impetus to the campaign to change the laws to compulsory testing for elderly drivers."

Similar laws already exist in New South Wales, Australia and in Illinois, USA, however in the UK the DVLA sends a form to renew a licence for three years once turning 70.

In July 2017 the DVLA released figures to show that the number of drivers over the age of 90 had reached 100,000 for the first time ever and that there were more than 4.5 million drivers over the age of 70 in the UK.

There is currently no upper age limit to driving in the UK.