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Somerset firefighter charged over cow stampede death

5 March 10 15:51 GMT

A firefighter has been charged with manslaughter after a farmer was killed by stampeding cows.

Harold Lee, 75, was moving 100 cows from his farm in Burtle, Somerset, in August 2009 when he was trampled.

Mr Lee's family claimed the cows may have been "spooked" by a fire engine siren while being taken to be milked.

A police spokesman said Julian Lawford, 49, was charged on Friday and bailed to appear before Taunton Deane Magistrates' Court on 25 March.

Mr Lee suffered chest and head injuries in the incident on 11 August and died in Frenchay Hospital, near Bristol, a few days later.

A spokesman from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said Mr Lawford had been suspended from his job.

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