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

A man was found unconscious outside Romford station yesterday.

An investigation has been launched after a man who suffered a blow to the head was found outside Romford station yesterday.

Joseph Kavanagh, 16, of Heather Way, Collier Row, took part in a week long leadership academy at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama

A teenager had the experience of a lifetime at a space and rocket centre in America.

Maureen Plunkett was robbed at an atm in Elm Park on Thursday.
 So many people came to help her after the man got away and she is very very grateful and wants to say thank you to everyone.

A great grandmother was left shaken and angry after she was mugged for her debit card in Elm Park last week.

Yesterday, 12:00
The borough of Havering: Has crime increased or decreased where you live?

The latest crime statistics show the number of sexual offences reported to police in Havering during 2014 increased by 37 per cent on the previous year.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

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

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder