A former RAF sergeant who went on to help build and install nuclear reactors in Navy submarines has received compensation after he was diagnosed with a fatal asbestos related cancer.

Robin Whiteside, 75, from Barrow in Furness was diagnosed with asbestos related cancer mesothelioma in November 2010 after his lung collapsed.

Mr Whiteside, who had a distinguished career in the armed forces, worked as an instrument technician at Vickers shipyard in Barrow in Furness during the 1960s and 1970s where he was exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

Mr Whiteside who has six children, 16 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren said: “I instructed Thompsons Solicitors who were able to prove that asbestos was commonly used at the shipyard where I worked.”

Case was settled in just eight months

Mr Whiteside contacted asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors after attending the Barrow Asbestos Related Disease Support Group (BARDS).

Thompsons commenced court proceedings and the case was settled within eight months.

Dr Helen Clayson, chair of BARDS said: “We support many victims of asbestos related disease and their families in the Barrow area where sadly our shipbuilding heritage means diseases like mesothelioma are only too common. We are pleased that Mr Whiteside’s claim has been settled so quickly and efficiently and hope that this can now give him a certain peace of mind.”

Asbestos was commonly used within shipyards

Andrew Venn from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Asbestos was commonly used within shipyards during the 1960s and 70s. Employers should have taken steps to ensure that workers were protected.

“Sadly, all too often this never happened. The consequence is that hard working men like Mr Whiteside are struck down by the effects of this devastating illness at a time when they ought to be enjoying retirement.

“The prompt conclusion to Mr Whiteside’s claim within eight months claim means that at least he has the reassurance of knowing that his family will be provided for.”