An inquest was held into the death of dairy farmer Brian Swales, aged 67, who died whilst out tending to his cattle, as reported the northernecho.co.uk.
Mr. Swales was killed by his cattle, something he had done “thousands of times”, in July of this year. The farmer was checking his bull and 17 Friesian heifers, and the bull was said to be lame.
The inquest at the North Yorkshire Coroner’s Court heard that the farmer suffered from lacerations to his lungs and broken ribs following the incident, injuries resembling that of a crush injury.
News reports suggested that the farmer may have been trampled by the bull, though the inquest heard from the coroner, who said it was impossible to tell. Mr. Swales wife said she thought that maybe he had slipped in the field and unable to get up. He had been recovering from a hip operation at the time the inquest heard.
Mrs. Swales added that her husband was an “experienced stockman”, but maybe he was trampled by the animals.
“His movements trying to get back to his feet may have caused the cows to investigate and have stepped on him.” she said.
The inquest also heard that the farmer had been granted permission by another local farmer, Charlie Flintoff, to use part of the land for his livestock. The pair had an agreement which saw Mr. Flintoff put sheep on Mr. Swales farm in return. The scene was attended by emergency services and police at the time, though Mr. Swales was pronounced dead at the scene.
A verdict of accidental death was returned, in what was described as a “wholly tragic case” by Deputy Yorkshire East Coroner Richard Watson.
"Clearly, Brian had been a farmer all his life and was an experienced stockman. But because we do not know exactly what happened to him in the field, I can only conclude that he was crushed by cattle.” he said.