UKIP county councillor Colin Aldred died of industrial exposure to asbestos during career including the Royal Navy

Norfolk County Council elections. Colin Aldred. Picture: James Bass

Norfolk County Council elections. Colin Aldred. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Ukip county councillor Colin Aldred died after contracting mesothelioma from prolonged exposure to asbestos during his career, including in the Royal Navy, an inquest has heard.

Mr Aldred, of Hopton, passed away on January 12 this year - after which colleagues commended his work ethic for continuing his duties on the council until he was physically unable to.

At the inquest into his death, Norfolk Coroner's Court heard Mr Aldred had made a claim against former employers Sea and Land Pipelines Ltd in relation to industrial exposure to asbestos.

In his 2015 statements made for the claim, read by area coroner Yvonne Blake, Mr Aldred said exposure had begun while working on Royal Navy vessels.

Starting on the HMS Bulwark in 1960, the ship underwent a 'substantial refit' in 1963, the court heard. 'During that time he carried out fire watch, watching the refurbishment works,' said Ms Blake.

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'Unavoidably, I would have been breathing in a significant amount of dust,' Mr Aldred said in his statement.

During a similar refurbishment of the HMS Torquay, he had carried out the same fire watch duties and become exposed to large amounts of asbestos.

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Multiple other companies were named in his claim as contributing to his exposure during his career, particularly Sea and Land Pipelines Ltd, where he worked with welding rods and wore protective clothing made of asbestos.

'He was told in 2009 he had some symptoms of asbestos exposure and his health remained good until 2014 when he became very breathless,' added Ms Blake.

'He had COPD and put his breathing problems down to that. In the first week of November he was told in all likelihood he had mesothelioma.

'Of course the Royal Navy has issued a blanket acceptance sailors and other people have been exposed to asbestos during a certain period. This falls into that period.'

A post mortem revealed malignant mesothelioma had been 'widespread' she added, concluding Mr Aldred had died as a result of an industrial disease.

Following his death, Fellow Ukip councillor Jonathon Childs paid tribute to Mr Aldred, calling him 'a true patriot' who 'served in the navy, respected our country and its great institutions'.

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