A MAN who impaled himself on a fence may have been stuck for two hours before he was found, police said yesterday.

A passing police officer found Joseph Brookhouse, 21, screaming in agony, with a two-inch spike embedded in his groin early in the morning.

The officer and a colleague, who he summoned to help, lifted Joseph's weight from the railing and he managed to get free before an ambulance arrived.

But he was left with a gaping wound and yesterday had a second operation on his groin.

Joseph had his first op - to repair a tear to a major vein - after he was admitted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary early on Saturday.

A close family member said Joseph, of Livingston, West Lothian, was lucky to be alive.

The relative said: "He has had a terrible ordeal but we are praying he is through the worst.

"We thought we may lose him, but now it looks like he could make a full recovery."

It is believed Joseph tried to jump over the fence in Edinburgh Road, Bathgate, but slipped, skewering himself on a spike. Police said Joseph was still not well enough to give them any information on how he became trapped on the fence.

It is believed he had been making his way home after a night out in the town when the accident happened.

Police say it is not known how long he was stuck on the fence but they believe it could have been up to two hours.

It is understood Joseph had a mobile phone but dropped it when he became impaled and was unable to reach it to dial for help.

The passing officer was alerted by his cries as he walked along the road and found him stuck on the fence, which was 4ft high.

He called for an ambulance and alerted a colleague who helped him keep the victim calm as they waited for medical assistance.

Joseph had lost a lot of blood by the time he was taken to hospital.

A police source said: "The victim is still pretty out of it.

The injuries were horrible and the guys at the scene were badly shaken by it."

A police spokesman said: "The male was impaled through his scrotum.

"He is still unable to talk about how it happened."