UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 18 June 2024
 8.1°C   NNW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / FAI hears of tragic death of popular farmer

A SHETLAND farmer died after he become trapped by the loading arms of his tractor, a fatal accident inquiry at Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Monday morning.

James Bryden Budge was pronounced dead shortly after the accident, which happened on the morning of 14 October last year at Bigton Farm.

The short inquiry before sheriff Philip Mann called no witnesses but heard the details of the tragic accident from a joint minute and an investigation report from the Health and Safety Executive read out by procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie.

The deceased’s widow Helen Budge and his father Jim, as well as other close family, were present at court and listened to the deliberations.

In his submission the fiscal stressed that this “human tragedy” had been caused by an “error of judgement” of a type “we all make every day”.

The inquiry was told that the deceased disconnected a hydraulic hose connecting the lift ramp’s hydraulic circuit while positioned between the loader and the frame of the tractor and the loader being in an elevated position.

This caused the lifting frame to drop in an uncontrolled manner thereby dropping the deceased between the tractor and the frame of the loader.

The fiscal suggested that the 46-year-old farmer left the loader in an elevated position because he was suffering from back pain and found it difficult to bend.

Mr Budge was discovered by his father Jim, who immediately freed him from underneath the loader with the help of a forklift and gave CPR.

The emergency services including the local doctor were called. Mr Budge was pronounced dead at 10am.

In his post mortem report, a senior lecturer at Aberdeen University described the cause of death as traumatic asphyxia.

The fiscal described Mr Budge as “fine, decent man” who was very popular within the local community, in particular within farming and football circles.

Sheriff Mann said he was aiming to make his determination available to the family by the end of this week.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.