Family of woman killed by cow in Northumberland shares story

From the Northumberland Gazette.
From the Northumberland Gazette.

The family of a woman who was killed by a cow while on holiday in north Northumberland has spoken publicly about the incident.

Marian Clode, 61, from Greater Manchester, was staying at a rented cottage at Swinhoe Farm, near Belford. The mother-of-three was on an Easter holiday with her husband Chris, daughter Lucy, son-in-law Kevin Rowe and her grandchildren.

As reported by the Gazette yesterday, Northumbria Police received a report of a female casualty in Belford at 2pm on Monday, April 4. The injured woman subsequently passed away.

It is reported that the family had been on a walk and was on a public bridleway near to the cottage when a herd of cows and calves came running towards them.

Her daughter Lucy told the Daily Mail: "The cows were on her in a flash. It seemed they would just pass her but one cow saw her, turned round and began scraping its hooves on the ground…my mother, who was standing perfectly still, screamed. It is a sound I will never forget - and then the cow charged at her, hitting her with an almighty force in the chest. As we hurried to help her the cow repeated this not once but twice and then put its head down and catapulted my mother over the gate."

Husband Chris told Sky News: "I could see they were really running fast, I could see them clearly coming down at speed. The most horrible thing of all was I couldn't see Marian. I could see this animal, a big, black thing, and it was scraping its paws, like a bull does in a bullfight, and it was so sinister." Lucy added: "It flipped my mum like a rag doll over the fence. The consultant said the injuries that my mum sustained were worse than any they had ever seen and only equivalent to a high-speed crash."

It is reported that the Clode family is taking legal advice and has spoken out to warn the public about the dangers posed by cows and their young calves. The incident has been passed over to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has confirmed that it has launched an investigation.

The Gazette contacted farmer Alastair Nixon, but he did not wish to comment due to the ongoing HSE investigation.

An NFU North East spokeswoman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases, but of course this is a tragic incident and our sympathies are with all those affected. Such events are thankfully very rare, given the thousands of walkers who enjoy the countryside every year.

"It's important that both farmers and walkers are aware of possible risks from livestock and the precautions that can be taken to reduce the chances of a problem. We encourage people to follow the advice from the NFU and organisations such as The Kennel Club, The Ramblers and the Countryside Code."