‘Well-liked’ Eastbourne man ‘didn’t deserve to suffer’ before asbestos death

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The wife of a ‘well-liked’ Eastbourne man who died from of a form of asbestosis said ‘he didn’t deserve to suffer’.

Patrick Burke, 78, from St Annes Road in Willingdon, died on August 3 from a form of asbestosis that was mostly likely to have been picked up from his time working at Llewellyn’s building firm between 1969 and 1973, an inquest at Eastbourne heard.

In a statement made by Mr Burke before he died, he said, “I would say I was exposed to asbestos.

“It was our job to sweep and clear up after the artex. We worked nine hours a day for five days a week. My clothes would be covered in dust at the end of the day.

“I was never warned about the dangers of asbestos or told to wear protective equipment.”

Rosaline Burke, who was married to Mr Burke for 34 years, said, “He was very well known and a very well-liked member of the community. Pat got on with everybody and didn’t deserve to suffer.”

The inquest heard Mr Burke decided not to engage in treatment for a tumour and instead opted to receive palliative care at home from his wife.

Mr Burke was born in Mullingar in Ireland and travelled to England at the age of 16 to work. He worked in different jobs over the years including as a painter and decorator and was also a self-employed gardener.

Coroner Alan Craze said, “Asbestosis is a horrible thing. There is no medication, there is no cure.”

The coroner recorded a conclusion of death by industrial disease.