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Grandfather Denis Butt from Maidstone likely to have been exposed to asbestos before death

A grandfather-of-nine was likely to have been exposed to asbestos before his death, an inquest has heard.

Denis Butt died at his home in Lancet Lane, Loose, Maidstone on January 26 after having been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

The 85-year-old had reported suffering from shortness of breath and was put on palliative care the previous month as his condition continued to deteriorate.

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone (8619146)
Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone (8619146)

An inquest at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone was told Mr Butt had spent eight years working as a plant pathologist in Uganda, East Africa between 1958 and 1966 before then being employed at East Malling Research Centre, where he focused on apple disease.

His daughter, Helen, said: "Although we can not not confirm if it was contracted while working at the station, asbestos was found in the main buildings where he worked before retiring in 1994."

The asbestos was professionally removed during this period, the court was told.

Assistant coroner Bina Patel said: "Mr Butt's medical cause of death was mesothelioma but on the balance of probabilities, the cause of death is likely to have been as a result of exposure to asbestos.

"However, on the evidence, it has not been possible to establish the source of that exposure.

"I offer my personal condolences to the family and friends."

Mr Butt was a father of three - Adrian, Helen and Martyn - and a grandfather to nine Laura, Martin, Christopher, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Annlouise, Taylor, Ruth and Heather.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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