Crawley Down man died as a result of asbestos exposure

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A Crawley Down man who was exposed to asbestos in his work as a mechanic died of an industrial disease.

An inquest into the death of Brian Suckling, 63, of Buckley Place, was held in Horsham yesterday (Thursday January 28).

Mr Suckling spent most of his career working with motor vehicles, and was exposed to asbestos while working at Crawley Down Garage as a 16-year-old in 1968.

The inquest heard he was required to mix asbestos powder with water with his bare hands - the paste would be used to absorb heat when welding.

Health and safety concerns were non-existent at the time, the coroner’s officer said.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015 with symptoms of breathlessness, a cough and chest pain.

He died on January 6 at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. The cause of death was advanced mesothelioma.

West Sussex coroner Penny Schofield said: “Mr Suckling was exposed to asbestos during the 1960s and early 1970s and this took place while he was in the course of his employment.

“I will record that he died from an industrial disease.”

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