Multimillionaire Oxford academic Brian Bellhouse trampled to death by cows

Eighty-year-old Brian Bellhouse made his fortune developing an injection-free method of vaccination, along with his Labour peer son-in-law

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The Independent Online

A former Oxford don who made millions pioneering injection-free vaccines has been trampled to death while out for a morning stroll.

Brian Bellhouse was walking near the village of Guestling, East Sussex, when he was attacked by “agitated” cattle around 11am on Monday.

Another walker called emergency services after they heard him scream for help near an eleventh-century village church.

Air ambulance paramedics and police performed CPR on the professor, but could not save his life. He was declared dead at the scene later that morning, five miles from his home in Winchelsea.  

The professor was father-in law to Labour peer and former Minister of Science Lord Drayson.

He became a multimillionaire after the two founded Powderject, a pharmaceuticals business which delivers a new type of needle-free injection using compressed gas.

The business later focused on the production of influenza vaccines, and was sold to US pharmaceuticals group Chiron for £542m in 2003.

This is the third cow attack resulting in serious injuries this month. One woman badly hurt her arm and shoulder after a cattle stampede in Littleborough, Greater Manchester and another woman was injured after being trampled on the Isle of Wight.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) information sheet recommends farmers should “wherever possible keep cattle in fields that do not have public access, especially when cattle are calving or have calves at foot”. 

Professor Bellhouse came to the University of Oxford’s Magdalen College in 1957, to read mathematics.

“The college is very sad to announce that Professor Brian Bellhouse has passed away at the age of 80,” a spokesman said.

“He obtained his DPhil in Engineering Science in 1964, and was then made a Fellow by Examination. He was elected an Official Fellow in Engineering Science in 1966. On his retirement in 2004 he was elected an Emeritus Fellow.

“Brian co-founded the company Powderject in 1993 which became one of the first companies to be spun-out successfully from the University of Oxford and was based at our Oxford Science Park.

“Brian was a major donor to the college and endowed the Oxford-Bellhouse Graduate Scholarship at Magdalen in biomedical engineering.”

Police said they were not treating the death as suspicious, and that they had passed it on to the coroner’s office.

Press Association contributed to this report.