A FORMER asbestos worker who is fighting cancer for a third time is suing his old employer for his "five years of pain and suffering".

Colin Stephenson, 66, had his voicebox removed due to cancer in 2009, lost part of his lung to the disease six months later and is now fighting lung cancer a second time.

He is seeking compensation from Cape Insulation, better known as Cape Asbestos, which employed hundreds of people in Bowburn, County Durham and where Mr Stephenson worked from 1967 to 1991.

The grandfather-of-two, from Ferryhill, said: “I have suffered five years of pain and suffering and have undergone a variety of procedures and treatments, I believe, as a result of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres over the years I worked closely with the material.

“I hope that my legal team at Irwin Mitchell will be able to get justice for me and provide the answers I need about why more was not done to protect me, and my colleagues, from the risks associated with asbestos.”

In 2013, The Northern Echo reported how cancer sufferer Caroline Wilcock, who grew up in Bowburn, had become the first person to successfully sue Cape’s successors for damages without having worked in the factory.

She recalled happily playing snowball fights with friends as a child – blissfully unaware the “snow” they were throwing at each other was deadly asbestos dust.

Mr Stephenson, who made asbestos sheeting and insulation, said the factory floor was extremely dusty and dust and fibres were released into the air and covered his hands and overalls.

Roger Maddocks, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “Colin has suffered a significant amount of pain and a number of invasive procedures and understandably he wants to know the reasons behind the illness he has suffered.

“Sadly, many employers fail to act to protect their workers from the consequences of exposure to asbestos, despite knowing how dangerous it is, and we hope that by issuing court proceedings we can secure justice for Colin and get the answers he so desperately needs.”

Anyone with information on the conditions at Cape Asbestos is asked to call Katie Faulds on 0191-279-0142.

Cape did not respond to the Echo’s request for comment.