Grandmother died after she was attacked by a herd of stampeding cows


Grandmother, 61, was killed by stampeding cows that attacked her and grandchildren during country walk in Northumberland

  • Marian Clode, 61, was killed by herd of stampeding cows, an inquest heard  
  • She was on a country walk in Belford with her family when incident happened
  • Mrs Clode was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where she later died 

A grandmother died after she was attacked by a herd of stampeding cows, an inquest heard.

Marian Clode, 61, was thrown into the air ‘like a rag doll’ as her family scrambled to safety over a barbed wire fence in April 2016. 

They had been on a country walk in Belford, Northumberland, when about 15 cows, that had broken away from a herd that were being moved into a field, appeared in their way.

Marian Clode, 61, (pictured) was thrown into the air ‘like a rag doll’ as her family scrambled to safety over a barbed wire fence in April 2016

Victim Marian Clode (centre) pictured with daughter Lucy (right) and grandchildren Charlotte, 4, and Oliver, 5, on holiday in Brittany, France in 2012

Victim Marian Clode (centre) pictured with daughter Lucy (right) and grandchildren Charlotte, 4, and Oliver, 5, on holiday in Brittany, France in 2012

Mrs Clode, a primary school teacher from Hyde in Manchester, had been walking around 30ft ahead of the others and was attacked several times by one cow before the rest stampeded toward the family members, which included her two grandchildren.

Her daughter Lucy Rowe, 38, told the inquest at Newcastle Civic Centre: ‘I could see [my husband] throw the children over the barbed wire fence. The lead cow… must have caught sight of my mum. It stood back and hit her. It backed up again and hit her again.…she flew over the fence like a rag doll.’

Mrs Clode was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, where she later died.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Jonathan Wills told the inquest the family would have been unaware of the cows as they were at the bottom of a hill.

Mr Wills said: ‘Around April the calves are taken along that same bridle path half a mile to a large field just past the farm.

‘A small group got past Mr Nixon and they made their way along the bridle path.

Marian and Chris Clode on their wedding day in 1976. Clode died after being crushed to death by a herd of cattle, on a public bridle path, whilst she and her family were out walking near Belford

Marian and Chris Clode on their wedding day in 1976. Clode died after being crushed to death by a herd of cattle, on a public bridle path, whilst she and her family were out walking near Belford

‘At the same time the family were approaching from the bottom of the hill.’

Another Health and Safety Executive inspector Wayne Owens, added cows with young calves posed a danger to walkers.

Mr Owens said: ‘It is well established guidance cows, all cattle, pose a risk, but particularly cows with calves.

‘They all pose more significant or higher risk because of maternal links between the mother and the calf. Particularly for walkers.’

Marian Clode (right) pictured with daughter Lucy and grandchildren Charlotte and Oliver on holiday in Brittany in 2012

Marian Clode (right) pictured with daughter Lucy and grandchildren Charlotte and Oliver on holiday in Brittany in 2012

Sara Sutherland, representing Mrs Clode’s family, read a pen portrait which described a ‘softly spoken’ grandmother who doted on her grandchildren.

‘Marian lived for her family. She was loving, kind, clever and fair. She doted on her grandchildren. It is heartbreaking that she did not live to see her grandchildren grow up,’ Miss Sutherland said.

‘She was softly spoken with a wicked sense of humour. She was making plans for retirement. It is so desperately sad that Marian never had the time to relax a bit more and put herself first a bit more.’

The inquest continues.

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