A farming company has appeared in court charged with health and safety offences after a primary school teacher was trampled to death by a stampeding cow.
Marian Clode, 61, died while on an Easter break in Northumberland with her family on April 3, 2016. They were staying at a holiday cottage at Swinhoe Farm, around two miles north west of Belford.
An inquest into her death heard how they had been walking along a public bridle path when around 15 cows and their calves surged from a holding pen.
Mrs Clode, who was born in Derry but lived in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, was injured by one of the charging animals.
J M Nixon & Son, based at Swinhoe Farm in Belford, have been charged with failing to discharge general health and safety duty to a person other than an employee. The charge relates to the company failing to ensure that persons, not in their employment, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety, namely the movement of cattle.
On Wednesday morning, Alistair Nixon appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in South Shields, South Tyneside, on behalf of the partnership.
On behalf of the company, he pleaded not guilty to failing to discharge general health and safety duty to a person other than an employee.
District Judge Zoe Passfield said she would accept jurisdiction for a trial to be heard at the magistrates’ court. However, she was told that the partnership wished for the case to be heard by a crown court jury.
District Judge Passfield sent the case to Newcastle Crown Court. She said the company will next appear at the court in Newcastle on November 30.
She told J M Nixon & Son: ‘You have chosen to have a trial at the crown court. The first hearing there will be the 30th November. You must attend no later than 9.30 in the morning. That’s all for today, you’re free to leave.’