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Tributes to stampede death woman

PUBLISHED: 10:52 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:22 01 August 2010

FRIENDS of the woman who was trampled by a stampede of cows have described her as a kind, happy-natured lady.

Yesterday the EDP revealed how the 45-year-old was walking her two Jack Russell dogs in a quiet spot near the Norfolk-Suffolk border when she was stampeded by a herd of cows.

FRIENDS of the woman who was trampled by a stampede of cows have described her as a kind, happy-natured lady.

Yesterday the EDP revealed how the 45-year-old was walking her two Jack Russell dogs in a quiet spot near the Norfolk-Suffolk border when she was stampeded by a herd of cows.

She was Sandra Pearce, from Worlingham, near Beccles. She worked for Suffolk probation service for many years, and was based in Lowestoft. She had lived in Worlingham for a couple of years and previously lived in nearby Mutford.

She moved to Mutford with her elderly mother, who has since died, and since then Miss Pearce, who was unmarried, had lived alone. She has a sister and a niece, from London, who were too distraught to talk yesterday.

A post-mortem carried out yesterday suggested she died from injuries consistent with being trampled, although further tests are still being carried out to see if a heart attack contributed to her death. An inquest is expected to be opened today.

Miss Pearce had just arrived at South Elmham Hall, near Bungay, and set off on a walk along a marked path through a field of cows when the tragedy happened on Sunday afternoon. Diners in the restaurant heard a commotion from the cows and one of the Jack Russells ran into the restaurant, battered and bloody. The dog suffered a broken shoulder and the other is still missing. The dogs were on a lead at the beginning of the walk but were not on leads afterwards, although Miss Pearce may have released them for her own safety after she was chased by the cows.

The herd of suckler cows was mostly British Simmentals with some British Whites, with calves and a bull with them.

Neighbours described Miss Pearce as a quiet person who was often seen walking her dogs around Norfolk and Suffolk, who took pride in her house and had recently finished doing it up.

Florence Hitter, a friend from Worlingham, said: “She was a very kind lady, very pleasant, very happy-natured. She will be missed by the people around here.”

Neighbour Joyce Baldwin said: “She was a nice neighbour. We had a lot of respect for her.”

Julie Bullen, the postmistress at Mutford, said: “She was quite a quiet person, but she was often seen walking her dogs. It is a terrible thing.”

The rector of Worlingham, the Rev Suzie Ellis, said: “It is really very tragic. It is an awful thing to happen.”

Frank Sykes, from the Health and Safety Executive, said: “Two inspectors have visited the scene and are carrying out a joint investigation with Suffolk Police.” He said police had taken statements and the investigation could take up to a couple of months.

Owner and farmer John Sanderson said: “Everyone at South Elmham Hall is deeply saddened by the tragic events which occurred here on Sunday. The situation is every livestock farmer's worst nightmare. I was the first on the scene and my partner and I tried our best to revive the woman with CPR until the air ambulance arrived.

“At this stage we do not know the exact circumstances of the incident. There is a Health and Safety Executive investigation under way and we are helping the authorities in any way we can. Meanwhile our thoughts are with this lady's family and friends.”

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