I was trampled by 24 continental cows with their calves, with a bemused bull looking on.
I was walking through a field on a public footpath, with my harmless old dog on a lead. A herd of cows was sitting in front of the stile and, when I was about 200 yards away, they stampeded towards me without any warning or provocation.
My old dog tried to fend off the cows, and grabbed one of them by the lip, but ended up being swung around. I grabbed the dog and tried to get out of there, but the cows wouldn’t leave me alone. Sadly, my old dog died in my arms.
Eventually, a woman driving a horse-box saw what was going on, raised the alarm, and I managed to get myself rescued. The farmer arrived and saw me being airlifted to hospital.
In hospital, I was found to be bleeding from my liver – a potentially fatal injury – and underwent an emergency procedure to stop the bleeding. Although I was discharged fairly quickly (after 3 days in hospital), I struggled to recover fully. After 6 weeks, I sought chiropractic help and, eventually, recovered after a further 6 weeks of treatment.
Despite seeing me airlifted to hospital, the farmer failed to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and only filled in the official paperwork after the HSE tracked him down. The HSE decided not to prosecute the farmer, a decision I profoundly disagree with. I’ve complained about this to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but am still waiting to hear if they will review the case. They are not answering my emails.
To compound all this, the farmer had no public liability insurance, but I am still issuing a claim against him for damages, in order to try to bring this issue to public attention.