A former Oxford academic died after being trampled by a herd of cows while trying to save his dog, an inquest has heard.
Professor Brian Bellhouse, 80, of Friars Road, Winchelsea, had been walking with his friend John Clarke and his Labrador Bulldrick in a field in Church Lane, Guestling, on Monday, June 12, 2016.
Mr Clarke told the inquest at Muriel Matters House, on Tuesday (October 24), that he and Mr Bellhouse often walked through the field together with their dogs.
On the day of the incident, Mr Clarke said his dog was on its lead but Professor Bellhouse’s dog Bulldrick was off his lead before a herd of cows started stampeding towards him.
Professor Bellhouse went in to get the cows away from his dog, according to Mr Clarke, before he was pushed to the ground and trampled.
Police, an air ambulance and paramedics were called to the field but, despite their best efforts, Professor Bellhouse was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sussex Police.
Senior coroner for East Sussex Alan Craze said the cause of death was a crush injury to the chest while returning a verdict of accidental death.
A statement issued by Oxford University shortly after Professor Bellhouse’s death said: “He came up to Magdalen in 1957 to read for a degree in mathematics.
“He obtained his DPhil in Engineering Science in 1964 and was then made a Fellow by Examination. He was elected an Official Fellow in Engineering Science in 1966. On his retirement in 2004 he was elected an Emeritus Fellow.
“Brian co-founded the company PowderJect in 1993 which became one of the first companies to be spun-out successfully from the University of Oxford and was based at our Oxford Science Park. Brian was a major donor to the college and endowed the Oxford-Bellhouse Graduate Scholarship at Magdalen in Biomedical Engineering.”
Professor Bellhouse, who invented a device that delivered needle-free injections, was an Emeritus Fellow at Magdalen College.
Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd added: “Brian dedicated his life to pioneering new technologies in medicine which helped so many people. On behalf of everyone in the Hastings and Rye constituency, my thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family and friends at this difficult time.”