A farmer from Lancashire has received a prison sentence for safety breaches after an 83-year-old man was fatally attacked by cattle in 2020.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how on 30 May 2020, David Tinniswood and his wife were attacked by cattle whilst following a public right of way across Ivescar Farm at Chapel-Le–Dale in Carnforth. A HSE investigation found that Christopher Paul Sharpe, Partner in J H Sharp and Son had breached safety regulations resulting in the death of an 83 year old man.
David Tinniswood and his wife were walking on a footpath that passed through the yard at Ivescar Farm, following a right of way that runs from the farm down to the road, accompanied by two border terriers. The couple were attacked by cattle that were grazing in the field with calves at foot. Mr Tinniswood was trampled by the cattle and pronounced dead at the scene and his wife sustained serious injuries.
Christopher Paul Sharpe, partner at J H Sharp and Son, of Ivescar Farm, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He received a prison sentence of 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and was fined a total of £878 and was ordered to pay £7820 in costs.
Julian Franklin, a HSE Inspector said measures could have been taken to better protect walkers using the footpath through a number of measures.
“Most farmers will have other groups of stock that can graze fields containing rights of way, so can reduce the risk of incidents by putting sheep in them, or they could take fodder crops from them,” he explained.
“Cattle with calves can be put in fields without rights of way, away from members of the public, or can be segregated from walkers.
“Farmers should ensure they take all reasonably practicable precautions to protect walkers on public rights of way, especially when they are grazing cows and calves together, or bulls are present.”