Sussex pensioner suffers head injury after being struck by roof tile

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An elderly man is recovering after being struck by roof tile which caused a two inch-gash on the top of his head.

Malcolm Hives, 80, of Fulmar Way, Tangmere, West Sussex, was walking along North Street in Chichester to catch a bus at around 2.50pm on February 8.

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But he was hit by a slate tile – believed to have blown off the roof of the Ship Hotel during Storm Imogen.

“I was beginning my walk home,” he said. “I was just starting to cross the road near Lakeland and the Ship Hotel when all of a sudden there was a lot of shouting and there was a great thump on my head.

“I struggled over to the Ship Hotel and stood against the wall. I was in incredible pain. There were people around me screaming.”

Just before the incident, Mr Hive said he thought he saw debris from a few of the slate roof tiles on the pavement.

“I got a thorough belting on the head,” he added.

“Some passers-by came up and one of them fortunately was a doctor from St Richard’s. The blood was flowing away. The doctor took over, he seemed to know what he was doing. He bound it, it was a quick job – a good job, and that was it, I was taken in [to hospital] by ambulance.”

Mr Hives was given a brain scan in hospital, and after an overnight stay was discharged on February 9. He is now recovering at home.

Storm Imogen brought heavy rain and winds of up to 96mph to parts of southern England.

“There was a high wind – they were extremely strong,” said Mr Hives.

“It was really quite horrendous.”

Mr Hives said staff at the Ship Hotel, the doctor and paramedics were ‘extremely helpful’. He also thanked hospital staff at St Richard’s for the care he received.

A spokesman from The Ship Hotel said: “We are aware that during the high winds of storm Imogen on February 8, a man was struck by a roof tile outside The Ship Hotel in Chichester.

“Following first aid, which was administered by onsite staff, the man was taken to hospital and we’ve been in constant contact with his family to monitor his progress and offer our support.”

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