Asbestos was cause of death

A pair of siblings were ‘surprised’ to hear that their ex-Stanton worker brother had died from the effects of inhaling asbestos, during an inquest into his death.

James Cope, 85, was taken to Royal Derby Hospital after a fall at his home at Hazelwood Nursing Home, Cotmanhay .

He died two days later on February 3, but a post mortem found that he had died from pulmonary asbestosis – something he had never been diagnosed with.

Consultant pathologist Dr Andrew Hitchcock, who examined Mr Cope’s body, told Derby Coroner’s Court: “If he had not had his fall and broken his leg, sooner or later –probably sooner – he would have died of pulmonary asbestosis. Perversely if he had not had lung disease he may well have survived his fracture.”

Documents revealed that he worked at Stanton from 17 and then at Chilwell Ordnance Depot until he retired – both places where he could have been exposed to asbestos.

On hearing Dr Hitchcock’s evidence, Mr Cope’s brother Bryan said: “That’s come as a shot right out of the blue.”

Deputy assistant coroner Louise Pinder recorded a verdict that Mr Cope had died as a result of industrial disease.