A KEEN runner is pursuing a compensation claim after he badly injured his knee when a road crumbled under him.

Mick Dempsey, 69, was taking two of his children to school when part of the road in Brook Street, Colchester, collapsed.

The retired electrician’s left knee was damaged.

He is now in constant pain and the injury has put paid to his road running hobby.

Dad-of-three Mr Dempsey, of Brooklands, Colchester, has gone through a full knee reconstruction under surgeon Prof Tim Briggs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, in Stanmore, but he has been told his knee is damaged beyond repair.

He said: “I would have been running between 12 and 15 miles a day and I was aiming to do the London Marathon, but that never happened, and now it never will.”

Mr Dempsey has been locked in a battle with Essex County Council since the incident in September 2009.

Highways bosses have refused to pay out any compensation, because records show the road is inspected every two months, as required by law.

He said: “If the roads are really inspected every two months then surely this never would have happened.

“A road collapsing is not something that just happens, it would have been noticed. Due to bad workmanship I now have a permanent injury.”

Mr Dempsey wants to warn others about the state of the town’s roads.

He said: “I would hate for this to happen to a child.

“There are kids coming and going up and down the road from pre-school to 11-years-old. My own children are part of that and I just couldn’t cope if something happened to one of them.” An Essex County Council spokeswoman said every claim the council receives is investigated fully.

She said: “Essex County Council has a responsibility to protect public funds and is protected by legislation in the event that it has taken all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the highway in question.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on legal proceedings as these are private matters between the individual and ourselves.”