The family of a man killed by a bull tonight said they were ‘absolutely devastated’ by the attack, which also left his wife critically injured.
Roger Freeman, 63, and his wife Lucy Glenis Freeman – known to family and friends as Glenis – were attacked by the animal as they walked along a public footpath through a livestock field in Stanton-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire, on Friday.
Mr Freeman was pronounced dead at the scene, in Leake Road.
Bulls are known to attack if their territory is crossed by humans
His 67-year-old wife managed to get to the nearby road, where she flagged down a passing woman motorist who contacted emergency services.
She was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, where she remained in a critical but stable condition tonight, a Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said.
The couple, from Glen Parva, Leicestershire, were keen walkers who were ‘always careful around livestock’ a family statement released by police said.
They had visited Nottingham the evening before the incident to go to the theatre and were walking from a hotel in the city, where they had stayed overnight, to Loughborough when the bull attacked.
The family statement read: ‘Roger and Glenis’ sons, Roger’s mother, father and brother, and the rest of the family are absolutely devastated.
‘Roger and Glenis were on a public footpath at the time of the incident and were always careful around livestock.
‘We welcome the Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident and hope for recommendations that prevent an incident like this occurring again.
‘The family, without exception, would like to be left alone now to mourn the loss of Roger and give all possible support to the recovery of Glenis.’
Viaduct at Stanford-on-Soar: A rural scene near where Roger Freeman was killed and his wife Glenis was seriously injured by a bull while out walking
Mr and Mrs Freeman celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by completing an 84-mile walk of Hadrian’s wall, the family said.
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Dave Wakelin said: ‘My thoughts are with Roger and Glenis’ family and friends at this difficult time.
‘This was a truly tragic incident, which has rocked the close-knit community of Stanford-on-Soar.
‘I would like to thank the local community for their continued co-operation with the police while we carry out our enquiries.’
Police said Nottingham coroner, Dr Nigel Chapman, had been informed of Mr Freeman’s death and would open an inquest later this week.
The owner of the bull released a statement through police in which he spoke of his shock and distress over the incident.
Farmer Paul Waterfall, of Underhill Farm, said: ‘My family and I are deeply upset by what has happened.
‘We are in shock and trying to come to terms with what I can only describe as a devastating and tragic incident. Our thoughts are with the couple’s family at this time.’
It is not clear why the bull attacked the couple and, after being contained in a shed just after the attack, the animal was put down.
A joint investigation by Nottinghamshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive is under way into the circumstances surrounding the attack.