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Former King's Lynn British Sugar worker died after exposure to asbestos, inquest told

PUBLISHED: 13:09 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:36 30 October 2015

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the Coroner's Court is situated in the ground floor. Picture: Denise Bradley

Eastgate House, Thorpe Road, where the Coroner's Court is situated in the ground floor. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

A former employee of British Sugar died after he was exposed to asbestos, an inquest heard.

David Wakefield, 72, of Fitton Road, Wiggenhall St Germans, near King’s Lynn, sought medical help in 2014 after his chest felt tight and he suffered shortness of breath.

He was diagnosed with the industrial disease mesothelioma, lodged a compensation claim against his former employers and made several written statements before his death.

The father-of-two, who was employed by British Sugar at King’s Lynn for 36 years, stated he believed he was exposed to asbestos dust.

He had worked as a sugar boiler, then as a welder and pipe fitter.

“I was exposed to asbestos dust as I would be taking down asbestos-lagged pipes,” said Mr Wakefield, in a written statement read at Norfolk Coroners Court today.

He added that he had been in good health for most of his life until 2014.

“I can walk on the flat but find it very difficult walking up inclines,” he said in a statement made in May 2014. “I’ve lost a stone in weight.”

He died at his home address on October 21 this year.

Assistant coroner Johanna Thompson concluded that Mr Wakefield died of an industrial disease.

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