Farmer receives prison sentence after cattle killed walker

David Tinniswood was fatally attacked by cattle whilst following a public right of way on 30 May 2020
David Tinniswood was fatally attacked by cattle whilst following a public right of way on 30 May 2020

A Lancashire farmer has received a prison sentence for safety breaches after an 83-year-old man was fatally attacked by cattle in 2020.

The tragedy occurred when David Tinniswood and his wife followed a public right of way across Ivescar Farm at Chapel-Le–Dale in Carnforth, in May 2020.

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.

The couple, who were accompanied by two border terriers, were attacked by cattle that were grazing in the field with calves at foot.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard this week how Mr Tinniswood, 83, was trampled and pronounced dead at the scene, while 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.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin explained that a number of measures could have been taken to safeguard walkers using the path.

“Firstly, not using that field for cattle and calves," he said, "Most farmers will have other groups of stock that can graze fields containing rights of way.

"[They] 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."

He added: “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.”