In the early hours of last Thursday morning, 72 year old Victor Moore of Junewood Close Brownsover was severely injured when he fell into an open drain outside his house because the County Council had switched the streetlights off.
A mischief-maker had removed and discarded the covers from two drains in the street. On returning from a family visit, Mr and Mrs Moore arrived home at about 1:30 am. Mrs Moore got out of the passenger door and crossed the pavement to their house, but poor Mr Moore, having to alight onto the road and walk around the back of the vehicle, stepped into the exposed drain which was quite hidden by the darkness.
He fell full length, scraping his arm and leg, bumping his head on the non-illuminated lamp post, broke his dentures, and had to visit the injury unit at the Hospital of St. Cross.
Mr Moore contacted County Councillor Alan Webb in complaint of the lighting policy, who explained that except at traffic junctions, and in areas of high reported crime, the County would not leave lights on after midnight. Cllr Webb reported the incident to the Police, who refused to log the removal of the drain covers as a crime, because the covers had not actually been stolen.
Cllr Webb said “Furthermore, the County Council will probably not compensate Mr Moore, as they were not aware that the covers had been removed, and therefore could not be held responsible. Mr Moore will incur quite a cost getting his teeth repaired, apart from the suffering he had to go through.
“The lighting policy has a lot to answer for particularly when this sort of mindless vandalism occurs. I hope the perpetrator feels guilty for the damage they have done to poor Mr Moore. It was a lark that went very badly wrong.”
Cllr Webb physically replaced the drain cover himself to save taxpayers money, after photographing the scene.