A farmer in Lancashire has been sentenced for safety breaches after an 83-year-old man was fatally attacked by cattle on his land.

Christopher Paul Sharpe, partner in J H Sharp and Son, received a 12-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, was fined a total of £878 and ordered to pay £7820.30 in costs at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

The incident to which he pleaded guilty happened at his farm in Chapel le Dale, Carnforth, on May 30, 2020; David Tinniswood and his wife were attacked by cattle whilst following a public right-of-way across the land.

Sharpe was found to have breached Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the couple 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. They were accompanied by two border terriers.

The couple were attacked by cattle that were grazing in the field with calves at foot and the man, David, was trampled and pronounced dead at the scene. Hs wife sustained serious injuries.

Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Julian Franklin said:

“A number of measures could have been taken to safeguard walkers using the path, while cattle and calves were grazing in that field.

“Firstly, not using that field for cattle and calves. 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.

“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.”