12/10/2012 15:44 BST | Updated 12/10/2012 15:48 BST

Grandmother Carole Bullett Trampled To Death By Horse At Suffolk Country Fair

A grandmother was trampled to death after a horse bolted with its cart at Nowton Park Country Fair, Suffolk, an inquest has heard.

After the horse's bridle was removed so the horse to eat some hay during the event in June, the animal became spooked and charged towards 57-year-old Carole Bullett.

The blind grandmother was catapulted six feet into the air and as she landed the animal trampled on her - crushing her chest with the wheels of its cart.

masons horse death

A spectator said the grandmother 'didn't have a chance'

She was rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, but died in the early hours of the following day.

Pathologist Dr Dada said Mrs Bullett suffered fractures to her ribs and a fatal blunt force trauma to the chest.

The inquest heard evidence that the harness should never have been taken off in such a busy, open space.

Horse cart expert John Parker, president of the British Driving Society, said the exhausted horse bolted because he feared it was being returned to work.

Mr Parker added: "He thought she was going to put the bridle on him again and be put back to work again.

"And, in my opinion, he had been in the bridle too long. He had been working too long."

Mr Parker added that it was "in everybody's rulebook never take the bridle off the horse."

He added: "The moment the horse started running there was no voice, no reins and he panics and the faster he went the more the vehicle bounces."

horse tow

The inquest heard that the bridle should never have been removed from the horse

The horse was put down in January this year after a worm infestation and the inquest heard vets found "no evidence of any clinical reason for him to have exhibited abnormal behaviour".

In a statement bystander Elisabeth Haslam described "screaming" crowds of people as Mrs Bullett was "catapulted" into the air.

She said: "The horse was running at full speed with the cart bouncing around behind it. Everyone was screaming, they were all trying to dive for cover."

Another witness, Darryl Whitpen, described "a few seconds of total carnage with people scrabbling to get out of the way" of the horse while Jean Cramer said she watched helplessly as the horse charged towards Ms Bullett.

She told the inquest: "She never had a chance."