AN ELDERLY man is “seriously shaken” after he tripped over a homeless person’s tent in a busy street and was knocked unconscious.

John Lang, who lives in Rottingdean, tripped over a tent peg outside the Co-op supermarket in North Street, Brighton, yesterday morning.

The 89-year-old said: “I was very shaken up and trembling when I came to.

“I was unconscious for a short time, and when I woke there was a crowd around me.”

John’s son Nicholas Lang, 60, said his father has a good level of fitness and was not prone to falling over.

Nicholas, who lives in Madehurst Close, Brighton, said: “My father walks a lot, he’s very fit for his age. He was in town waiting for my mother, as she gets her hair done every Friday, and the streets were very busy.”

Nicholas said he was shocked when he heard what had happened.

He said: “My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. He had fallen flat on his face.

“He has a bruise on his forehead and a scratch above his lip.

“He wanted to complain about it to the council, because it’s unsafe.”

But when Nicholas called the council, he was shocked to learn that the person he spoke to deemed the tents to be safe.

He said: “I was told they had put a notice on the tent for it to be removed, but only because they have judged it to be abandoned, and not because it’s unsafe.

“I said, surely you have a duty of care? They agreed, but told me they deemed the tent to be safe – even though my father had this fall.”

Nicholas said he and his father were angry because they felt the council were suggesting it was his father’s fault..

John Lang said: “I was quite shocked. It sounded like they were suggesting it was my fault, and that a lot of people my age fall over.”

Nicholas said: “I personally feel that the council are not taking responsibility, and I’m disgusted with their attitude.

“My father was outraged that he could be tripped up by a tent that should not be there, on such a busy street. It’s obviously dangerous.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We are really sorry to hear of Mr Lang’s injury and we wish him a speedy recovery. Our field officer team has investigated and found the tent to be abandoned. We are therefore arranging for it to be removed as soon as we are legally able to do so – hopefully in the next 24 hours.”