Pensioner Victor Moore was badly injured when he fell into a hole he could not see because the lights in his street are switched off late at night to save money.
Mr Moore, 72, was returning to his home in Junewood Close, Brownsover, in the early hours of the morning when the accident happened. He hurt his leg, head and back and broke his dentures after he stepped into an exposed open drain.
He said: “It was pitch black and I could not see that the cover was missing. I fell down, scraping my arm and leg and bumped my head on the unlit lamppost. I was in agony for days afterwards.
“It’s as black as the ace of spades round here when the streetlights are switched off. I always thought this policy was a bad idea and that an accident would happen sooner or later, but I didn’t think it would involve me.”
Mr Moore, who has consulted a solicitor about his fall, found the drain cover in a nearby alley, which he believes had been removed by scrap metal thieves who were going to collect it later.
Since late 2013, lights in residential streets in Warwickshire have been switched off for some of the night, except at traffic junctions and in areas of high reported crime. The policy was introduced by Warwickshire County Council to cut costs, as well as carbon emissions and light pollution.
Cllr Alan Webb, Mr Moore’s county councillor, said: “The county council will probably not compensate Mr Moore as they were not aware that the covers had been removed, and therefore could not be held responsible.
“The lighting policy has a lot to answer for, particularly when this sort of mindless vandalism occurs.”