A pensioner's bid for compensation has been turned down after an accident involving a pothole left her with a black eye and in need of new glasses costing hundreds of pounds

Jean Bullimore, 80, has been told by Essex Highways that she is not entitled to any financial support after she tripped over a pothole in Newlands Street, Witham.

Mrs Bullimore was crossing the road when the wheels on her shopping trolley became trapped in the pothole, making her fall over the trolley and land on her face.

The fall caused severe bruising and cuts, and also meant Mrs Bullimore had to spend £345 on buying new glasses after her old ones were damaged in the accident.

Helped by daughter Cheryl Orrin, she applied for compensation but her request has now been rejected by highways bosses who say it does not meet the necessary criteria.

Cheryl said: “The whole thing has been very frustrating – they can’t even help pay for the new glasses and we haven’t even had an apology.

“It has definitely knocked her confidence when it comes to going outside.

“The whole thing has upset her and it hasn’t been easy because she’s a carer for my dad.

“She didn’t do this on purpose, she didn’t try to fall over deliberately.

“We aren’t talking about some old person who is unsteady on her feet.

“My mum is very active and does a lot of walking for someone her age.

“She walks along that road most days and it’s ridiculous to think it was just left in that state.

“The road was extremely uneven and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more people who have been hurt there.”

The pothole is understood to have been fixed several days after Mrs Bullimore’s fall.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “We unreservedly apologise to Mrs Bullimore and hope she makes a full and rapid recovery and has not been too upset by the whole event.

“When we are made aware of any incidents or accidents, we re-inspect the defect and almost always repair it urgently.

“However, we have a duty to ensure that public taxpayers’ money is used responsibly and therefore required to establish legally whether compensation should be paid in each particular case.

“If we have followed our own valid, published procedures, so that we have inspected the defect, logged it, allocated the correct priority and planned to repair it to a timescale accordingly, then compensation is unlikely to be paid.

“We do everything we possibly can to repair all defects as soon as possible with the limited resources available.”