A farmer was crushed to death by his own tractor after he left it idling without the brakes on, a fatal accident inquiry has concluded.

Benedikt Gudmundsson was crushed between the tractor and a tree at his farm near Dunkeld on 17 September 2014.

The 80-year-old was feeding cows when the tractor slid down a muddy embankment, causing him fatal injuries.

Sheriff William Wood said the farmer had suffered "colossal misfortune", but could have had safer working practices.

Mr Gudmundsson left the tractor to cut open silage bales, but jumped back onto the cab steps to try and stop it as it started sliding down the hill.

The inquiry at Perth Sheriff Court heard that "by unfortunate chance" the vehicle passed so close to a tree at the foot of the slope that the farmer was caught between the trunk and the rear wheel.

He was found dead in the field by his son, Benedikt Jnr.

Sheriff Wood noted that the tractor's handbrake was used so infrequently that it had become encrusted with mud.

He said: "The tractor should have been maintained so the parking brake could be applied. The deceased should have followed the 'safe stop' procedure advocated by the Health and Safety Executive.

"Mr Gudmundsson had taken no adequate steps to prevent the tractor from moving. Had reasonable precautions been taken to prevent movement of the tractor in the first place, any injury was wholly preventable.

"This was an act of colossal misfortune."