Cancer patient in appeal for justice

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A MANSFIELD man suffering from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to former colleagues in his fight for justice.

David Martin (68) was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January- more than 50 years after he started a five-year joinery apprenticeship for Harold Ashley & Son Ltd, on Church Hill, Mansfield Woodhouse.

The company built schools and other buildings, specialising in prefabricated structures made from asbestos material known as CLASPs.

Spending 15 years with the firm before it closed in 1974, he only began showing symptoms of the aggressive cancer in October of last year. He developed a dry cough and then began suffering from breathlessness.

X-rays and CT scans revealed his lungs had filled with fluid, and a biopsy at King’s Mill Hospital confirmed he had developed mesothelioma.

Mr Martin explained: “I was frequently exposed to asbestos as my job involved cutting, sanding down and installing Asbestolux sheets, boards and ceiling tiles. No-one ever warned us and I remember being told it was completely safe to work with.

“We were never provided with proper face masks like they have now.”

Represented by industrial disease specialists at Fentons Solicitors LLP, they say to have any hope of securing compensation, it is vital witnesses come forward to confirm that he was exposed to asbestos during his time at the firm.

Solicitor Lesley Francois, of Fentons, said: “It can take several decades after someone is exposed to asbestos for any related symptoms to become apparent.

“Unless we can track down the insurers and prove that he was exposed to asbestos, he may go uncompensated for the terrible condition he has developed as a result of simply working diligently to support his family throughout his life.”

Anyone who can help should contact Lesley Francois on 0844 893 6685 or e-mail

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