A PENSIONER who had been a farmer all his life died after a bull charged at him, an inquest heard.
James Thomas Leech, 75, was doing his usual duties at Dunston Dairy Farm when the bull suddenly turned.
Mr Leech of Dalley View Farm, Dunston Heath, suffered multiple injuries during the incident on July 9 last year. He died on July 18.
An inquest in Stafford was told yesterday Mr Leech was experienced at handling cattle. He worked casually at the farm and often chose his own hours.
He usually handled the cattle including looking after the bull which was called Network
On July 9 he had been in the pen with Network when student Orrie Carville, who was working nearby, heard him shouting ‘get back’.
He said Mr Leech seemed to be moving backwards. He then saw the bull running towards Mr Leech who was then slammed against the gate.
He was taken by air ambulance to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire where he underwent emergency surgery, but he died of multiple injuries.
The bull was later destroyed.
The inquest heard Mr Leech had suffered a stroke in 2000 which had left him with impaired vision.
Farm Owner Mark Holt said Mr Leech enjoyed coming to work and he described him as ‘robust’.
He said dairy bulls could sometimes become aggressive but Network had shown no signs as far as he was aware.
He said an NFU health and safety document was kept on site but he said he had probably not kept up to date with guidance and policies on handling cattle.
A police investigation found there were no criminal charges to be brought.
A Heath and Safety Executive also investigated.
Investigating officer Wayne Owen said the risks should be considered if someone over 65 was to handle cattle.
He issued an improvement notice to the farm requiring a risk assessment on handling cattle.
A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haighh said: "I do not proposed making a formal report. I hope lessons will be learned from this tragic incident."