Tragic Medicine prof trampled to death by cows ‘going mad’

Mike Porter was attacked by a herd of 30 cows while out with his dogs


Popular Medicine lecturer Mike Porter was trampled to death when out walking his dogs, an inquest has heard.

The 66-year-old was going for a walk with his brother when he was attacked in Wiltshire.

The two brothers desperately tried to disperse the cows by waving their hands and running at them but they were knocked to the ground and stamped on, the hearing heard.

The inquest was told how the “highly excited, jostling” herd climbed onto their hind legs and trampled over the two men with their front legs.

Prof mike

Prof Mike

Prof Mike, who had just retired from his post at Edinburgh, managed to escape the field but collapsed and died at the scene. Doctors later found a hoof mark on his chest.

The pair had climbed over a gate before walking on a public footpath running through the field, Salisbury Coroner’s Court heard.

Mike’s brother John told the inquest how the cows “deliberately trampled” them.

He said: “We must have been halfway across when I must have done my normal way of getting them out the way, waving my hands and running at them.

“They were taking an interest in the dogs and rather than run off they milled around us and I became concerned, obviously.

“The bull was no problem –– it was the cows. We were both knocked over and we both recognised each of us were on the ground.

“I cannot say which cows or what cow was attacking us but they seemed to deliberately trample on you. It was extraordinary.

“It seemed to be something they really wanted to do.

“All of a sudden they dispersed and we picked ourselves up and walked out of the field, thinking we are battered and bruised but we are OK. We just wanted to get out.”

Mike managed to reach a passing car but his condition soon deteriorated and he lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. He died at the scene.

Tributes continue to pour in for the much-loved prof.

Former colleague Prof David Weller, head of the general practice department of the University said at the time: “Those of us who worked with Mike are devastated to hear of his tragic and untimely death.

“In a career spanning more than four decades, Mike taught Edinburgh medical students important principles of care and compassion, encouraging them to see their patients in the context of their family and society.

“He also conducted research in many aspects of general practice, including stress amongst GPs. He was a wonderful colleague and was devoted to his family.”