A FATHER-OF-FOUR has called on council bosses to switch the street lights back on after being left bloody and bruised following a late night stumble.

Kevin Crabb was walking along Somnes Avenue, Canvey, at about 1am on Sunday when the street was suddenly plunged into darkness.

He then tripped on pavement near Waterside Farm Sports Centre, which is set to be repaired because it is collapsing into a brook.

Mr Crabb, a support worker at Rochford Community Hospital, said: “The pavement is broken away and needs repairing.

“It’s left a big hole that’s about eight inches away from the railing.

“When it went pitch black my leg has gone straight down and I went crashing forward onto my face. I was knocked out for at least a minute.

“When I came round I had blood pumping out of my face and head.

“Looking back I could have broken my leg, so it could have been a lot worse.

“If I had been unconscious for longer I would have been there until the morning. It’s that dark that nobody would have seen me.”

The 44-year-old, of Delft Road, Canvey, said he called his son Tommy who picked him up and took him to Southend Hospital.

He was left with cuts and bruises to his face and hands but did not need stitches.

Mr Crabb said: “Even though he came out straight away it actually took him a while to find me because it was so dark.

“Canvey is just a total blackout at 1am. The taxi drivers don’t even like coming in to the island at night time.

“It’s dangerous because it’s so dark.”

Essex County Council turns about 70 per cent of street lights off between 1am and 5am in a bid to save £1million annually.

It leaves on street lights along most main roads and can turn on each light individually.

There is a light directly above the piece of damaged pavement responsible for his fall and Mr Crabb said this should be left on until repairs are made.

He said: “It would be a start. But I just think they should do the same as Southend and put LED lights in.

“I understand the cost but we don’t get a lot for our council tax.

“It could have happened to a councillor, it could have been anyone in Canvey.”

There have been repeated calls for Essex County Council to reverse its part night lighting policy since it was rolled out across the county in 2014.

Last month, burglary victim Traci Beamish set up the Light Up Basildon petition after her home in the town was targeted.

But Rodney Bass, Tory councillor responsible for highways, told the Echo the policy would not be reviewed.

He added: "Residents calling for the lights to be turned back is nonsense."