The family of a man who died from an asbestos related disease is searching for a Cambridge man who they believe will help them to claim compensation.

Leigh Boniface from Devon died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung, after he was exposed to asbestos when he was just 18.

Leigh, aged 48 when he died, believed he was exposed to asbestos while working for Porch Watt Developments Company Limited between 1974 and 1975.

He worked demolishing terraced houses in Paddington in London where he believes he was exposed to asbestos.

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2005 and died just 10 weeks later. Throughout Leigh’s later career he could not recall any other exposure to asbestos.

Now his wife, Jacqueline is pursuing compensation for her husband’s death.

Porch Watt Developments Company went into receivership in 1993. Jacqueline’s lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors are now attempting to trace the employers’ insurers. One of the company’s directors, Richard Bourne Porch, who it is hoped may be able to help, is understood to live in the Cambridge area.

Thompsons are now appealing to members of the public to come forward with any information about the insurers of Porch Watt Developments Company or if they can help them contact Richard Bourne Porch.

Exposed to asbestos demolishing old buildings

Leigh was a granddad of two, a dad and a stepdad. Jacqueline said it was a great shock when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

She said: “When Leigh was diagnosed the doctor asked if he had ever worked with asbestos. He had always worked in manufacturing plastic so could not understand how he had developed the disease. Then he remembered that he worked demolishing old buildings when he was 18 and it was there he was exposed to asbestos.

“We found it hard to believe that a job he did when he was only a teenager could have such a devastating effect on his health and cause his death at such a young age.

“It is important to the family to identify the employers insurers so that someone can accept responsibility for Leigh’s death. This appeal is very important to us and we urge the public to help us in any way they can.”

We must find out who insured Porch Watt Development Limited

Gill Owen, client representative at Thompsons Solicitors added: “In order to pursue this claim we must find out who insured Porch Watt Development Limited during the period Mr Boniface was working for the company.

“We understand that Mr Porch was a company director and may hold the information we are looking for. We would urge him or anyone who has any information at all about the company’s insurers to get in touch with us so Mrs Boniface and her family can pursue this case.

If anyone has any information please contact Gill Owen on 08000 224 224 or email