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Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court has heard the personal statement from the person who's death it was ruling on last week, after a former paint worker died from mesothelioma.

In his statement, Norman Berry said how he had been a manual worker since leaving school. Being read to the court, the statement said that he had worked in a number of similar jobs across the area.

In two of these jobs, the statement went on to explain, the 74-year-old was often exposed to 'plumes of dust' in his work area, despite not being issued with any safety workwear or breathing apparatus.

No safety clothing was given, despite the time Berry spent working in asbestos-filled boiler rooms in Derbyshire and Lancashire.

With fibres flaking visibly from the pipes being painted, Berry noticed the lagging on the pipework was in a bad state of repair.

The statement went on to say:

"At the time, myself and my colleagues were not aware of the dangers of asbestos and did not give any thought to the handling of asbestos."

Berry was admitted to the Royal Derby Hospital earlier this year with a respiratory condition caused by the mesothelioma. He died of complications with the condition.

Returning his verdict, Dr Robert Hunter said that the graphic nature of Berry's statement showed the level of exposure he had to endure throughout his working life.

He concluded that the only ruling he could give was death by virtue of industrial disease.

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