Farm worker caught hitting cow 60 times with spade avoids jail

Lea Manor Farm in Aldford, Cheshire. (Google Maps)
CCTV showed Pawel Turbak, 37, attacking a cow at Lea Manor Farm in Aldford. (Google Maps)

A farm worker who was filmed hitting a cow with a spade more than 60 times has been given a suspended sentence.

Pawel Turbak, 37, was sacked from his job as a stockman at Lea Manor Farm in Aldford, near Chester, following the incident.

CCTV showed Turbak had attacked the cow while trying to use the spade to free the animal when it became stuck between two headrails, Chester Magistrates' Court heard.

Footage showed he hit the animal more than 60 times to its body and hind legs.

Chester Magistrates' Court
Pawel Turbak appeared at Chester Magistrates' Court. (PA)

Turbak was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a cow contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

During the court hearing on Friday he received a 12-week suspended prison sentence, a 100-hour unpaid community work order and was told to pay costs totalling £1,634.

Turbak used the spade's flat back and sharp digging edge, causing 18 lacerations together with bruising and swelling, after trying to dig around the animal to free it.

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The cow's injuries were discovered by Turbak's colleague who reported it to the dairy herd manager.

Turbak was interviewed at Blacon Police Station where he agreed it was “not acceptable to inflict injuries to the cow”, but he claimed he had been working long hours and had problems at home.

During the sentencing, the judge commented that crimes like this are 'particularly upsetting', that this was a prolonged attack and, if not for the CCTV, may have gone unnoticed.

The judge accepted the incident was out of frustration of not being able to free the cow, rather than a specific wish to inflict pain on the animal.

Turbak was also disqualified from owning or keeping animals, or having any involvement in the way animals are kept, for five years.