An Italian chef who worked with pizza ovens with asbestos seals in a Salisbury restaurant has received a six figure sum in compensation from his former employers.

Luigi Pes, 60, was born in Sardinia but moved to Britain in 1982 when he was 31.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, in February 2008 after suffering from a continual chest infection.

He was exposed to asbestos when he started working as a chef for La Gondola Italian Restaurant in Fisherton Street, Salisbury.

His job involved working with pizza ovens with asbestos seals and also in the storeroom where the ceiling contained asbestos.

At the time he was not warned about the dangers asbestos could pose to his health.

Following his diagnosis he instructed asbestos compensation specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice.

Mr Pes, who is married and has two adult children, felt strongly that his employers were to blame for the working conditions that made him gravely ill.

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim out of court.

Mr Pes said: “For many years I worked there with no idea about the damage asbestos could do to my health. In later years when I became aware about the dangers of asbestos I had an idea that I had been exposed but I never expected that I would end up with this disease.”

“Despite my progressive illness and the restrictions it brings. I’m doing my best to enjoy each day I have left. I’m not angry but I do feel strongly that more should have been done to protect me from getting this disease.”

Stephen Loach from Thompsons Solicitors said: “I investigated the case for Mr Pes urgently and pursued it vigorously so that he could benefit from the compensation during his lifetime. Whilst this will never make up for Mr Pes’ poor health it will at least afford him some financial relief and the knowledge that the employers who caused his suffering have been held to account.”