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A HEATING engineer died as a result of coming into contact with asbestos 30 years ago, a coroner ruled.

Peter Edwards, 57, of Commonside, Westbourne, died on February 19 at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Chichester.

Mr Edwards was told he had mesothelioma in 2014, described at the Chichester inquest as ‘absolutely devastating’ for him and his family’.

He was an apprentice at 15 in Emsworth and worked at installing and repairing boilers in the area, including at the barracks on Thorney Island.

The inquest heard Mr Edwards was not told of the dangers of working with asbestos at the time and no protective clothing was issued to him.

Coroner Penelope Schofield recorded a verdict of industrial disease.