Sheep farmer dragged to death in grain machine by bootlace

Prominent Scottish sheep farmer Jim Sharp was accidentally killed after his bootlace got entangled in a grain auger and dragged him into the machine, a coroner has ruled.

Mr Sharp, 66, suffered multiple injuries in the incident at Newbigging Walls Farm near Lauder on the afternoon of 17 March.

An inquest into his death at Selkirk Sherriff Court on Friday (28 November) heard he had entered a barley grain silo, but it was not known how his lace had become entangled with the machine.

 See also: Prominent Scottish farmer killed in accident

In a summary read out to the court, procurator fiscal Louise Graham said: “The cause of the accident resulting in the death is that it appears Mr Sharp entered the grain silo but there is no evidence why that is the case.

“There may well have been a problem with the sweep auger on that date. When in the grain silo his bootlace has become entangled within the sweep auger.”

The coroner did not make any recommendations.

Mr Sharp was a former livestock board convenor with NFU Scotland and renowned for producing top quality Blackface sheep. He also captained Melrose Rugby Club for a number of seasons.

NFUS president Nigel Miller led tributes to Mr Sharp, saying: “Jim was an ambassador for all that is good in farming. He gave a lot to our industry, the Borders community and the union.

“Most importantly he was a great friend that so many of us will miss. Our sympathy must be with his family.”