Asbestos cancer '˜killed fundraiser'

INQUEST: Jon Sharpe raised more than £20,000 for a hospice.INQUEST: Jon Sharpe raised more than £20,000 for a hospice.
INQUEST: Jon Sharpe raised more than £20,000 for a hospice.
A GRANDFATHER who raised thousands of pounds for a West Yorkshire hospice died from an asbestos related cancer decades after working as an electrical engineer in power stations, an inquest heard.

Jon Sharpe raised more than £20,000 for Pontefract’s Prince of Wales Hospice after setting up dazzling lights displays outside his home in Featherstone every Christmas for more than 20 years.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard Mr Sharpe was exposed to asbestos while working for the Central Electricity Generating Board during the construction of power stations at Drax and Eggborough in the 1960s.Mr Sharpe made a statement to his solicitor before his death aged 74 in November 2015 at a medical centre in Florida in America where he was on holiday.

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The inquest heard Mr Sharpe said he worked on four boilers under construction at Eggborough while up to 100 workers installed insulation lagging containing asbestos.

Wakefield Coroner David Hinchliff said: “He described it as being very dusty and he would get covered in white dust.” Pinderfields Hospital consultant histopathologist Dr Rachel Thomas, who performed the post mortem on Mr Sharpe, said he died of malignant mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.

Mr Hinchliff asked Dr Thomas: “It would appear that during the course of Mr Sharpe’s employment in power stations where there is a lot of asbestos material he will have been exposed to asbestos in that environment.

“I think we can make a connection between exposure to asbestos in the workplace and developing mesothelioma which has caused his death?”

Dr Thomas replied: “Yes.” Mr Hinchliff recorded a verdict of death from industrial disease.