Death on public footpath by trampling from cows:farmer given suspended sentence
Death and injury from cows: suspended sentence for farmer
Health and Safety Executive v Brian Godwin (2016) Swindon Crown Court, December 5
Statutory reference: s. 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (HSWA).
Brian Godwin, a farmer, has been given a suspended prison sentence after a member of the public was killed, and another injured, by cows in a field.
In May 2013 Mike Porter and his brother John were walking with dogs on a pubic footpath through a field near Bradford on Avon. Cows with calves were grazing in the field. The animals belonged to Brian Godwin.
Mike Porter died from crush injuries caused by cattle trampling him. His brother suffered multiple rib fractures, a punctured lung and general contusions.
Godwin had not taken reasonable precautions to protect members of the public walking on footpaths through his fields, from his cattle.
The incident was the fourth in five years involving injuries to members of the public caused by Godwin’s cattle.
Where livestock are judged to present a risk to walkers, they should be segregated by fencing or kept in fields without footpaths. The cattle may have attacked the walkers because they perceived a risk to their calves from the men and their dogs.
Bran Godwin pleaded guilty to a breach of s.3, HSWA, for failing to ensure the health and safety of non-employees. He was given a prison sentence of 12 months suspended for two years and ordered to pay £30,000 costs.