Pensioner, 89, left waiting for money after Southsea scooter crash

FALL Rita Bell is awaiting compensation after her scooter toppled into a hole on Southsea seafront.    Picture: Malcolm Wells (112489-5659)

FALL Rita Bell is awaiting compensation after her scooter toppled into a hole on Southsea seafront. Picture: Malcolm Wells (112489-5659)

Police cordon off Portsmouth street over ‘suspicious package’

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A PENSIONER injured when her mobility scooter plunged into a hole in the pavement has been left waiting for compensation.

Rita Bell, 89, who has had two hip replacements, rode her scooter through what she thought was a puddle outside the Pyramids Centre, Southsea.

But in fact it was a hole, left after a tree was removed by the council, which had filled with rain water.

Mrs Bell, who was visiting the Pyramids with her great-grandchildren, was left in agony after scooter flipped over, throwing her out of her seat and pinning her underneath.

She suffered a dislocated hip and bruises to her body and the scooter – a Christmas gift from her family – sustained more than £1,000 worth of damage.

The accident happened in February, but Mrs Bell, of Marmion Road, Southsea, is still waiting for compensation. The delay is because of confusion about whether Portsmouth City Council or SCL, which leases the Pyramids Centre and its surrounding land from the council, should be liable.

Mrs Bell said: ‘I feel so embarrassed by what has happened. I’ve lived in Portsmouth all my life and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I used to be so energetic and full of life but now I’ve lost all my confidence.’

She added: ‘I just want to move on and forget about everything that has happened. It’s been a complete nightmare.’

After complaining to the council in February, Rita’s family have been told their liability claim has been passed to SCL’s solicitors.

Rita’s daughter Julie Page, 58, who lives on the Isle of Wight, said her mother relied on the scooter to get around and needed money for its replacement

‘This has all dragged out for so long,’ she said. ‘In the meantime my mother is living in fear and has had her life taken from her.

‘She used to go shopping and go to the seafront. Now she can’t do any of that.’

A spokesperson for SCL said: ‘We are very upset about what happened and we wish Rita all the best in her recovery. We are investigating the issue.’

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