A farmer who was repeatedly warned to control his cows has been spared jail after a retired university professor was trampled to death in his field.
Brian Godwin, 83, had been previously ordered to offer more protection to dog walkers using the public footpaths that cross his 400-acre farm.
The farmer had been told to put in segregating fencing or signs saying ''cows with calves' to let people know the protective animals are dangerous.
But he failed to act and dad-of-two Mike Porter, 66, from Edinburgh, was stamped on and trampled by a herd as he walked across the land.
The rambler was walking along a public footpath through Elbow Field with his brother John and their two dogs.
Around 30 continental beef cows began repeatedly trampling on Michael who curled up in a ball to protect himself.
Professor Porter was airlifted but died from internal bleeding following the attack in May 2013 near Godwin's Timothy Rise Farm in Turleigh, near Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire. His shaken brother sustained series injuries and Godwin, 83, has now been handed a 12-month prison sentence - suspended for two years.
He admitted breaching his general duty of controlling his livestock at a previous hearing and was today sentenced at Swindon Crown Court.
The court heard there had been five other serious attacks dating back to 2004 on the farm - but Goodwin failed to put up any warning signs,
You could have prevented his untimely death.
I'm satisfied that you quite blatantly failed to ensure the safety of people who came on your land.
I am quite satisfied that the way you managed your livestock created an obvious risk to people on public footpaths and a risk of serious injury.
That was a risk that you failed to take reasonable steps to rectify and led to the terrible death of one man and serious injuries to another.
Together with our family and friends, I have spent the last three and a half years trying to turn the tragedy of Mike’s death into a positive outcome.
Mike’s death was avoidable, and while nothing will bring Mike back to us, we can at least take some comfort that lessons have been learned which will prevent others in the future being needlessly killed or injured.
It is vital that the interests of farmers cannot take precedence over the health and safety of the public, and that those who, like Mike, love walking in the beautiful British countryside can do so without the risk of injury or death.
We hope that those agencies with responsibility will now review the guidance relating to the management of livestock in the vicinity of public rights of way
A survey by the walking charity ramblers has found problems including broken sign-posts, locked gates and overgrown paths.Read the full story ›
A Somerset farmer is calling on MPs to learn the lessons of the flooding on the Levels three years ago which drove him from his home.Read the full story ›
In a secret part of a Wiltshire woodland English Truffles carpet the land. We went looking with a secret weapon - a very clever dog.Read the full story ›
Stunning drone footage of Westonbirt Arboretum - Autumn colours as you've never seen them before, thanks to our eyes in the sky.Read the full story ›
An Asian hornet, which bites the heads off British honey bees, has been found in North Somerset. A surveillance zone has been set up.Read the full story ›
Woodside Bridge on the East Lyn near Lynmouth has had to be closed following a recent inspection by Exmoor National Park Authority which has revealed it to be unsafe.
In the meantime, members of the public are advised to use the Tors Road footbridge as an alternative means of crossing the East Lyn.
Our main priority in the first instance was to stop people using the bridge and for safety reasons, we now plan to have it removed as soon as practically possible. We will then be looking into the options for replacing it.
A farmer who assumed a 10 day old calf was dead was amazed when walkers found it hidden in a sink hole nine days later.Read the full story ›
Conservationists say that almost half of species they've studied have declined in the last 40 years.Read the full story ›
One of the Cornwall's most well-known landmarks and the highest point in the county is up for sale at a guide price of almost £3m.Read the full story ›