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Accidental death verdict on woman trampled by cows

PUBLISHED: 15:24 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:34 01 August 2010

Hayley Mace

A woman who died after being trampled by cows may have gone to the aid of one of her beloved dogs, an inquest heard today.

Sandra Pearce, 45, died in April after she was trampled by Simmental cattle in South Elmham, near Bungay.

A woman who died after being trampled by cows may have gone to the aid of one of her beloved dogs, an inquest heard today.

Sandra Pearce, 45, died in April after she was trampled by Simmental cattle in South Elmham, near Bungay.

An inquest in Lowestoft heard today that Ms Pearce, from Worlingham, near Beccles, died in a tragic accident while walking her two Jack Russell dogs along a footpath near South Elmham Hall.

There were no witnesses to the incident, which happened just before 3pm on April 27, but visitors in the hall's café knew that something had happened when one of Ms Pearce's dogs ran indoors with what appeared to be a broken leg.

The cows in the nearby field were heard making loud, bellowing noises and found gathered round Ms Pearce's body, which was about 30yds from the designated footpath.

A post mortem found that Ms Pearce, who worked as a probation worker in Lowestoft, died from injuries which were consistent with being struck by something large and heavy.

Suffolk coroner Peter Dean recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: “We have no direct evidence as to whether she actually removed the leads or whether the dogs somehow slipped the leads.

“What seems to have happened is a very tragic accident and, some way or another, the cattle were disturbed, causing them to behave in this very uncharacteristic manner.”

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