Roger Freeman bull death: Bull 'should have been culled' earlier

Roger and Glenis Freeman
Image caption Glenis and Roger Freeman were out walking when the bull attacked them

A "nasty, aggressive" bull that killed a walker in front of his wife should have been culled before the fatal attack, a court has heard.

Roger Freeman, 63, was attacked while walking through Underhill Farm at Stanford-on-Soar near Loughborough, Leicestershire.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the bull had already chased other people and posed "a real risk of death".

Farmer Paul Waterfall, 39, denies manslaughter by gross negligence.

Mr Freeman and his wife Glenis, 70, of Glen Parva, Leicestershire, were experienced ramblers.

They had walked about 12 miles (19km) when they reached the footpath near Underhill Farm on 12 November 2010, the court heard.

Mr Waterfall had farmed there for 10 years and bought the Brown Swiss bull, Moonriver Zac Pi, in 2009 to breed with his heifers, the jury was told.

'I'm sorry'

Opening the case, prosecutor Andrew McGee said Mr Waterfall had a duty of care to people using the footpath.

"Paul Waterfall... knew his bull posed a real risk of death to people using that path," he said.

The 19-month-old animal was put down immediately after the attack but Mr McGee claimed experts said he should have been culled following two earlier incidents.

Image caption The bull, called Zac, was destroyed after it attacked Mr Freeman

After the attack, Mrs Freeman told police she was ahead of her husband and turned around to see the bull attacking him.

"She tried to distract the bull but it attacked her and continued to attack Roger," said Mr McGee.

She ran off to get help and said her husband's last words to her were: "I'm sorry, my baby. I can't get us out of this."

'On their toes'

She was taken to hospital for surgery on chest and abdominal injuries.

Mr Freeman was pronounced dead at the scene. Tests confirmed he died from multiple injuries, including fractures to his ribs and shoulders.

The jury was told that on 1 October 2010, two Central Networks power engineers tried to carry out emergency repairs but were chased away by the bull.

Mr McGee said that Mr Waterfall, who rescued the two men in his truck, told them Zac was a "nasty, aggressive bull" who "kept walkers on their toes".

Two weeks before Mr Freeman died, another engineer noticed the bull "pawing the ground and bellowing".

The trial continues and is expected to last about five weeks.

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