The Health & Safety Executive (‘HSE’) has recently prosecuted a farmer following the sad death of an eighty three years old man who was crossing a field with his wife when they encountered a herd of cattle. 

Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors outlines the nature of the prosecution.

Kangs Solicitors has very extensive experience advising corporate clients, directors, employees and individuals in relation to investigations and prosecutions conducted by, inter alia, the:

The assistance we provide to our clients includes preparing their defence to allegations of:

Our team can be contacted for confidential advice and assistance as follows:

The HSE Prosecution | Kangs Safe Access to Countryside Solicitors

  • On the 30 May 2020 the deceased, and his wife were walking their two small dogs along a public right of way across Ivescar Farm at Chapel-Le-Dale, Carnforth. 
  • Unfortunately, the couple experienced an encounter with grazing cattle leading to the deceased being trampled to death and his wife sustaining serious injuries. 
  • Following investigation by the HSE, the farmer, Mr Sharpe, was charged with breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Mr Sharpe pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court to a twelve weeks prison sentence, suspended for twelve months and he was fined £878 and ordered to pay £7,820.30 in costs.

Following the Hearing a HSE Inspector stated:

‘A number of measures could have been taken to safeguard walkers using the path, while cattle and calves were grazing in that field.  Firstly, not using that field for cattle and calves. Most farmers will have other groups of stock that can graze fields containing rights of way, so 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.  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.’

The Relevant Law | Kangs Health & Safety at Work Solicitors

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (‘the Act’) legislates for the general duties of employers and self-employed persons to persons other than their employees. 

Section 3 (2) of the Act states:

‘It shall be the duty of every self-employed person who conducts an undertaking of a prescribed description to conduct the undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.’

An offence under section 3(2) of the Act is an ‘either way’ offence, meaning it can be dealt with by either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.  The maximum penalty in the Crown Court is a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years, a fine or both. 

How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

We regularly guide our clients, corporate and individuals, through the entire process of bothInvestigation and Prosecution which frequently requires conducting constructive dialogue with the Investigating/ Prosecuting authority involved with a view to safeguarding the interests of our client whilst seeking the most efficient and satisfactory outcome available.

We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email and we are happy to provide an initial no obligation consultation to explore the issues in your case and to provide an assessment of what we can do to assist you.


John Veale
0161 817 5020  | 020 7936 6396 07989 521 210

Suki Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521210 (24/7 Rapid Response)

Helen Holder
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396