Widow seeks justice over husband’s asbestos death

Tom and Diane Poole. Diana believes her husband working with asbestos in Selsey in the 1970s caused his death
Tom and Diane Poole. Diana believes her husband working with asbestos in Selsey in the 1970s caused his death

The widow of a man who died from cancer caused by exposure to asbestos is seeking justice over his death.

Diane Poole believes that her husband Tom was likely affected by asbestos while helping to build houses in Selsey in the 1970s.

Tom Poole, a qualified carpenter originally from Yorkshire, worked fitting soffits, used to join the outer wall to the roof, which were made from asbestos sheeting which Mr Poole and a team of carpenters would cut to size and fit, Mrs Poole said.

She said it meant that the men would often work all day surrounded by what is now known to be fatal dust without masks or other protection, probably for several years.

Mr Poole was diagnosed with mesothelioma (cancer caused by asbestos) in May 2012 and died a year later at the age of 80.

Describing her husband as ‘a lovely dad, a lovely husband who is terribly missed’, Mrs Poole said: “He took such pride in his work, always with the patience to get it exactly right.

“Somehow it makes it even worse that a job he loved made him ill.”

Mr Poole was a keen cricketer and played for Selsey during the family’s ten years of living in the town.

Tragically, the year before Mr Poole died the couple lost their son, Chris, when he was brutally murdered by three youths for refusing to buy them alcohol from a local shop in Eastbourne.

A Record of Interest into Mr Poole’s death states: “The deceased died of mesothelioma at home on 8th June 2013.

“He had been exposed to asbestos while working in the building trade.”

It found the conclusion to his death as industrial disease.

Asbestos was regularly used as fire-retardant insulation in homes, schools and hospitals throughout the UK until the serious danger of the material was made public in the mid-1980s.

Mrs Poole, 71, who now lives in Eastbourne, remains badly affected by the death of her husband and son.

She described the disease that killed her husband as ‘truly awful’.

Shaheen Mosquera, a lawyer from Fieldfisher, is working on a compensation claim for her.

She is asking for anyone who has information about working conditions during home building in Selsey at that time to contact her by emailing Shaheen.mosquera@fieldfisher.com or calling 0207 861 4393.

Do you have a story to tell? Send an email to us at news@chiobserver.co.uk

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.chichester.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChichesterObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @Chiobserver

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Chichester Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.