A RETIRED carpenter who worked with asbestos in a prison has received a six-figure compensation pay-out after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

The pensioner, who has not been named but is from County Durham, worked in various prisons between 1963 and 1995, carrying out maintenance work.

In one prison, he renovated the commercial laundry room, removing old asbestos sheets and cutting new ones, laying asbestos floor tiles and renewing lagging on heating pipes.

He also mixed asbestos plaster, while colleagues stripped asbestos insulation from pipes, steam presses and irons.

In September 2014, he began to feel unwell, visited a doctor and was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer causes by exposure to asbestos.

The ex-carpenter contacted the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) and instructed asbestos disease specialists Thompsons Solicitors to investigate making a compensation claim.

He eventually received a pay-out of £220,832.

The POA member said: “I’d worked with asbestos for most of my career but when I got diagnosed with cancer it was a huge shock.

“The support from my union and Thompsons has been faultless. It’s reassuring to know that my family are now financially secure and we don’t have to worry about the cost of any treatment.”

Glyn Travis, of the POA, said: “Asbestos-related cancers are often associated with industries like shipbuilding, but the reality is that this disease affects workers everywhere, including prison employees.

“The settlement will give our member and his family security following the diagnosis of this terrible illness.”

Anthony Hood, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We secured compensation by working closely with our client to find exactly when and where he was exposed to asbestos.

“We have a specialist team who deal with hundreds of asbestos-related cases every day and are determined to obtain the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time for our clients and their families.”