A PENSIONER has described the horrific moment she fell into an open manhole.

Barbara Pocock, was moving house on Monday when she fell into the gaping hole in the pavement in Fourth Avenue, Hove.

The 72-year-old, who is now on crutches, needed help from her removal men to get her out of the shaft.

Mrs Pocock, who now lives in Burgess Hill, described the incident as “outrageous”.

She said: “I was coming out of my house to go to the Co-op.

“I was going to buy bacon to make bacon rolls for the removal men.

“Then my foot just went out from under me.

“I could have broken my hip and a child could have fallen right down into it.”

The removal men took pictures at the scene after she was saved from the manhole, which had been left open, above.

Mrs Pocock’s legs were covered in scratches and dirt.

Believing the hole was the responsibility of Brighton and Hove City Council, she went to Hove Town Hall with a bleeding leg to warn staff there about the danger.

And although she did not go to the hospital at time, she was later taken to A&E after waking up in the night unable to walk.

Medics found one of her knees was severely swollen and she was given co-codamol for the pain.

She said: “I’m so angry, I’m going to claim for injuries.

“Both my knees are in pain and I’m hobbling about the house and I can’t get up and down the stairs very well.

“I’ve just moved house and I wanted the place to look nice.

“Luckily my son and daughter have been helping me out.”

The Argus understands the man hole is actually an old, now redundant, coal hole.

It would have been used to deliver coal to properties in the road.

A council spokesman said the hole was nothing to do with the authority but was thought to be the responsibility of the Co-op. The council has written to the Co-op asking it to address the dangers surrounding the manhole.

It says it will have the hole tarmacked over if it does not.

The Co-op told The Argus it was investigating the matter.