The widow of a former policeman has received a substantial sum in compensation after he died from an asbestos related disease.

Stuart Brown from Swansea died from mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos as a 16-year-old apprentice while working for Millers Insulation & Engineering Company.

He was employed as a lagger’s mate and worked on the construction of BP’s Petrochemical plant at Baglan Bay, Port Talbot from 1963 to 1964.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take 40 years or more to develop and many sufferers die within months of diagnosis.

He was exposed to asbestos used to insulate pipe work. Before he died he remembered: “You could see the asbestos dust falling to the ground and sparkling when it fell through shafts of light. There would be lots of asbestos dust and debris on the floor which would be kicked around. We had no idea it could be so dangerous.”

Stuart became a police officer with South Wales Police in 1974 and retired in 2001 after 25 years on the beat. He was working as a part time parking attendant when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2005. Sadly he died just two months later in December 2005.

He was just 59 and left behind his wife Christine, and a son.

Asbestos claims specialists

Asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors obtained substantial compensation for his wife.

She said: “When we found out the cancer had been caused by asbestos Stuart was determined to take action. He had always been a very practical and caring man. I was unable to work and he wanted to make sure that I was provided for. Sadly he died just two weeks after he contacted Thompsons so I carried on with the claim on his behalf.

Eamonn McDonough from Thompsons Solicitors in Cardiff added: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which ended Mr Brown’s life at a relatively young age when he was preparing to enjoy his retirement. We are only too pleased to have helped his family to obtain compensation and to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos.”