'Come and arrest me': Angry pensioner graffitis 'dangerous' Waterlooville high street after elderly woman falls and 'loses three teeth'
A PENSIONER sick of seeing people tumble on uneven bricks in the high street has spray-painted the pavement and told the local authorities: 'Come and arrest me if you want'.
Determined dauber Malcolm Garbutt, 71, got cheers from shoppers when he graffitied London Road in Waterlooville with the word ‘danger’.
The disabled ex-firefighter took matters into his own hands earlier this month with a can of white spray paint he bought from Poundland.
It came after he was infuriated to witness a string of painful falls as elderly residents went about their errands earlier in the summer.
One, said Malcolm and his wife Sue, left a woman with a broken hand and three lost bottom teeth after she tripped on a raised brick near Greggs.
‘She fell very hard and smashed her face,' he said.
‘Lots of people went over to help her and I thought that was the end of the story.
‘But I went up there again and as I was sat having a coffee two women fell over on the bricks in the space of 20 minutes.'
Mr Garbutt, a fervent fundraiser for the armed forces, has branded the walk ‘very unsafe’ and laid into the county council, which maintains it.
‘All we ever see is someone come along and spray white paint dots here and there instead of getting a professional work gang to blitz it,' he said.
‘Hampshire County Council need to cordon that area off and get a new hard surface in before someone else gets hurt.
‘I’m really angry about it and someone had to take action. They can come and arrest me if they want.'
Retired housing manager Sue, 73, has backed her husband's plea after a fall in London Road in June left her ‘shaken up’ but unharmed.
‘I’ve got two new hips and a new knee and I was frightened something could have happened to them,' she said.
‘Now when I’m there I don't look up at all – my eyes are constantly fixed on the ground.’
Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, said he would 'discourage’ residents from painting on the public highway.
‘This section of footway on London Road, which suffers from damage more than most due to vehicles illegally driving over and parking on the footway surface, has been inspected and scheduled for repair,' he said.
‘Our highways teams regularly and routinely carry out inspections to identify and prioritise repairs, and they responded to Mr Garbutt on 10 September to confirm repairs would be undertaken shortly.'