A WIDOWER has vowed to take legal action against a Hampshire firm after his life was ruined by an industrial accident.

Lee McMahon was left disabled and needing more than 30 pills a day to numb the pain after he was crushed by a forklift truck 14 months ago.

The horrific scarring on his leg and foot will never heal.

Doctors grafted skin from his thigh and took muscle tissue from his back in a desperate attempt to reconstruct a crushed left heel and severed right calf.

The 45-year-old, who says that his life has been "ruined" by the incident at Harris Transport Limited in Totton, is forced to use a wheelchair and is constantly undergoing therapy to try to improve his condition.

Now he is to sue after the company admitted three offences under health and safety laws.

Mr McMahon, of Porlock Road, Millbrook, Southampton, said: "It has really ruined my life at the moment.

"Some days I just burst out in tears because I just cannot do anything.

"It is like a searing pain and it feels like there is a grenade in there which is exploding."

The father-of-four, whose wife died in 2002, says that his previously active lifestyle has been brought to an end and that he has no idea whether he will regain all of the feeling in his feet and lower legs.

He added: "This has affected me in every way. It's like I'm a prisoner now."

New Forest magistrates heard that Mr McMahon was working in the loading area when he was struck from behind by the forklift.

The lights on the vehicle were defective, the court was told, which meant that the light level was "appallingly low".

The driver had only limited experience and afterwards admitted that it had "bad visibility" in the cab, side and back, magistrates heard.

Richard Morris, in mitigation, said that the company moved to the Totton site only seven months before the accident and was still undergoing a "period of adjustment".

He added that the driver could have used a spare truck if he was unhappy with the one he was operating.

The company had earlier admitted to failing to provide sufficient lighting in the workplace, failing to sufficiently assess risks to employees and failing to ensure the safety of an employee.

It was fined a total of £28,000 for the three offences and was also ordered to pay costs totalling £8,986.

Company bosses refused to comment on Mr McMahon's civic action when the Daily Echo contacted them yesterday.