MARK DANIELS - Adviser on visitor and occupational health and safety at historic buildings, parks, gardens, coast and countryside

News archive May 2014

7th May 2014

Farmer cleared of manslaughter charge following 2010 cattle fatality

In November 2010 a couple were on a long walk from Nottingham to Loughborough. Late in the afternoon, they were walking on a public footpath across a field owned by a local farmer in Stanford on Soar when they were attacked by a bull and/or cows (Brown Swiss breed). The husband suffered fatal injuries and his wife was badly injured in the attack.

The farmer was eventually charged with manslaughter in 2013 and the trial finally took place in April and May this year. During the trial, there was some confusion over whether the animal which instigated the attack had horns and whether it was the bull or a cow. The judge commented on the 'extraordinary conflict of opinions among serious experts', and also criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for the time taken to reach a decision on prosecution and to bring the case to court. The jury returned a verdict of 'not guilty' after a relatively short deliberation.

There is more detail about the case here - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10813979/Farmer-cleared-of-manslaughter-after-rambler-dies-in-cattle-field.html.
And a very useful summary here - http://www.iosh.co.uk/Membership/Our-membership-network/Our-Groups/Rural-Industries-group/Group-articles/Review-of-bull-on-footpath-manslaughter-case-not.aspx

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