A NORTHUMBERLAND man who launched a compensation fight after being diagnosed with asbestos cancer has died.
John Deeble, 91, of Alnwick, began a battle for compensation through a legal firm last year after doctors told him he had incurable mesothelioma.
Mr Deeble died from the illness just before Christmas.
His son last night paid tribute to his father and said the fight for recompense would continue.
The Journal last July reported how Mr Deeble had started to develop symptoms of mesothelioma in 2011, and visited his GP in March last year complaining of being breathless and rapidly losing weight.
He underwent an operation to drain fluid from his lungs, and was diagnosed with the illness.
Mr Deeble believed it had been caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust while refurbishment was being carried out at a post office in Alnwick where he worked in the early 1960s.
He claimed he was never warned about the dangers of the dust or given any protective clothing or a mask to wear.
The pensioner, who had ceased working at the site more than four decades before, launched a fight for compensation through Newcastle legal firm Irwin Mitchell. He issued a photograph of the post office’s cricket team from the 1960s in a bid to trace colleagues who might be able to shed light on working conditions at the time.
However, Mr Deeble’s condition worsened late last year and he was admitted to Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington at the end of November.
Two weeks later, he was transferred to Alnwick Infirmary, and he died there on December 21. Doctors confirmed the asbestos cancer had proved fatal.
Last night, Mr Deeble’s son Peter, who suffers from motor neurone disease, paid tribute to his “supportive” father. He said: “Ninety-one is a good age, a really good age and he was fit and active until a couple of months before he died. It was a painful end.”
Both he and the legal firm confirmed that the compensation fight would be continuing despite Mr Deeble’s death.
Mr Deeble Jnr said his father would have wanted the battle to go on and that it would be a fitting tribute to one day succeed, and not just to his father.
He explained: “For other people as well, who may have been affected by it.”
Roger Maddocks, a partner and industrial disease expert at the law firm, said: “It is obviously sad that nothing could be resolved during Mr Deeble’s lifetime but we are instructed to pursue the claim on behalf of his estate and his widow.”
Anybody who can help can call Mr Maddocks on 0191 279 0095 or email email@example.com