A Sussex farmer who was found dead in a field was likely trampled to death by his own cattle, police have said.

It is believed the man, named locally as 64-year-old Stephen Sandys, had been feeding his cattle at the time of the incident.

Sandys’ wife is understood to have raised the alarm on Friday evening (August 10) after he failed to pick her up from the train station.

Once she made her way home she found her husband on the ground in a field along with several Aberdeen Angus cows and their calves and a bull.

Emergency services were called to the farm in Eridge Road, Groombridge at around 10:30pm but were initially unable to enter the field as the bull continued to act aggressively.

The bull was put down, however, Mr. Sandys had already passed away.

A spokesman for Sussex police said: “At this time we are not treating this as suspicious and it is believed the farmer may have been trampled by livestock.

“The investigation has been passed to Her Majesty’s coroner, and all emergency services personnel have left the scene.”

Most common cause of farm deaths

Unfortunately, the tragic incident is not uncommon. The latest Health and Safety Executive statistics for 2017/2018 revealed that three-quarters of the agricultural workers who were killed this year were over the age of 60.

The report also highlights that livestock was the main cause of fatal accidents among farm workers, accounting for almost a quarter (24%) of all fatalities.

Other causes included being struck by farm vehicles, such as tractors or trailers (18%); being trapped by something collapsing (15%); and being struck by objects such as bales and tree branches (12%).