Inquest jury rules cow crush death as accidental
The death of a man who was trampled by a herd of cows in a field was an accident, an inquest jury has found. The incident followed three previous attacks in the same and neighbouring fields, after which HSE explained to the farmer his duty to “reduce the risk as far as one possibly can”.
The jury heard how former Edinburgh University lecturer Mike Porter and his brother were knocked to the ground by the herd as they crossed a field near Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire in May 2013.
The 66-year-old and his brother John, 74, had been walking their dogs on leads on a public footpath through Elbow Field, in Turleigh, when they were attacked. A witness described the cows “going mad” as they surrounded the men. The younger brother died at the scene.
Mr Porter’s death followed a previous attack in Elbow Field, in 2008 and two in a neighbouring field in 2011. Following these incidents HSE had visited the farmer, Brian Godwin, to explain his duty to reduce risk.
Mr Porter’s brother told the inquest on at Salisbury Coroner’s Court how the herd knocked them down repeatedly and seemed to “deliberately trample” on them “as if it was something they really wanted to do”.
The inquest heard that of the 57 animals on the farm at the time of Mr Porter’s death, 49 were continental breeds or cross-breeds.
Thirty-one had been there during three previous attacks, but there was no evidence about which cows in particular were involved.
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