View Full Version : Calving tragedy determination

12-Oct-12, 09:08
Farmer's death - "a sad and tragic accident", Sheriff Berry concludes following Wick inquiry

THE death of a Caithness farmer, killed during a routine calving task, was a “sad and tragic accident” a north sheriff has concluded.
Sandy Banks suffered fatal injuries at Sour Farm, near Halkirk, on June 13 last year. He had been trying to help a newborn calf suckle from its mother and attached a rope from the cow’s head to his waist so that his hands would be free to control the calf.
An investigation into the 64-year-old’s death, concluded that the cow bolted from the pen and dragged him round a field causing him multiple injuries. He was found by neighbouring farmer, John Buchanan, after a call from Mr Banks’ wife, Ella, when he failed to return home to Larlyn, in Calder Road Halkirk for lunch.
A fatal accident inquiry held before Sheriff Andrew Berry, at Wick Sheriff Court, earlier this year, heard the task should be carried out by two people.
In his written determination published yesterday, Sheriff Berry said: “Sandy Banks was a highly experience, hard-working and diligent farmer whose working practices had never given concern. He required to assist a cow with its newborn calf and did so, in the best way he considered appropriate in his long experience. He had available buildings and equipment which meant he was able to carry out his work in a variety of ways judged best by him He knew his own stock. While the method chosen to assist the cow and calf on this day, has had tragic consequences, it cannot be said that he ought to have acted differently. What occurred, was a sad and tragic accident.”
The sheriff expressed his personal condolences to Mr Banks’ family and friends.