Search

“Dangerous” drain in Romford replaced after disabled man’s crutch fell through gaps

17:14 20 May 2014

The "dangerous" drain by Mr Sowden

The "dangerous" drain by Mr Sowden's crutch

Archant

A “dangerous” drain has been replaced after a cerebral palsy sufferer fell when his walking aid slipped between its gaps.

Stephen Sowden with crutches standing over the drain coverStephen Sowden with crutches standing over the drain cover

Stephen Sowden, 40, of Widdicombe Close, Harold Hill, has claimed it is now much “safer” since the council changed the cover, which had wide gaps, after he complained following his topple.

Mr Sowden must use either a wheelchair or crutches to get around because of the neurological condition that affects his muscle control.

He was walking down South Street, Romford, at the end of March when he hit the floor.

He said: “I was walking across to use the bank and the stick went down the drain.

“I think it was a dangerous drain if you were walking and caught off guard - I didn’t see the drain and my stick went right down it. It caught me by surprise.

“I fell on my front and two people helped pick me up.”

Mr Sowden said that he has rarely used his sticks since the tumble but must start using them again for health reasons.

“I lost my confidence when I fell over,” he said. “Being a disabled person, once I fall I go crash, bang, wallop.

“I have got to use the crutches to keep me moving. It relaxes the muscles and keeps them strong. If I don’t use them I could end up with blood clots the doctors have said.”

After the fall, he contacted Conservative councillor Andrew Curtin (Romford Town) who met him to visit the drain.

A council spokesman said: “We received a report in April about an unsafe drain cover on South Street. A disabled resident informed a councillor that their walking stick got caught in the drain cover which resulted in a fall.

“We immediately changed the cover to a smaller gully grate that is also level with the road to avoid any further accidents.”

Read more:

Woman nearly crushed by falling lamp-post on Harold Hill after winds batter the borough

Dog run over after Hornchurch man slips on fallen construction site fence

Witnesses describe horrific scene after two men killed by bus in Romford

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:51
A crowded 8.17am train from Upminster to Fenchurch Street

Furious commuters have taken a stand against proposed train timetable changes that will see their journeys become longer but their chances of getting a seat slashed.

Yesterday, 12:00
Jean Challis, age79 from Elm Park, was named as the Romford Carnival Queen 50 years ago this year.

A pensioner who was given the royal treatment when she was crowned Romford Carnival Queen almost half a century on, has taken a trip down memory lane.

Yesterday, 11:53
Victoria Winterford (front) saw off seven others to win

A Hornchurch dancer has overcome her confidence issues to be crowned Miss Universe Essex in her first pageant appearance.

Yesterday, 07:47
A Greater Anglia train at Ilford train Station.

Services are almost back up to speed for Greater Anglia following cancellations this morning however there are still some disruptions.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

Among the charitable causes the prince hopes to champion are wildlife conservation and justice for injured service personnel.

Although Farage may not have mentioned the fascist pre-conference entertainment, his speech showed he’s very aware of his party’s image.

Leonard Nimoy is currently dominating six of the top trend slots on Twitter. His fans, friends and co-stars should be proud.