A FORMER carpenter who was exposed to deadly asbestos dust when he was just a teenager died more than 50 years later after he contracted cancer, an inquest heard.

Robert Le Masurier from Ducklington was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos – in 2014.

Despite rounds of chemotherapy, his condition gradually deteriorated and he died aged 66 on July 14 this year at his home in Standlake Road, surrounded by his family.

Yesterday Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter concluded a death caused by industrial disease.

He said: “This is a tragic thing to occur and surely a very difficult thing to deal with. He was only 65 and when we normally deal with this disease it is a lot older. Obviously he was exposed to this a lot younger.

“Due to his work as a carpenter and joiner from the mid 1960s to the 1970s, he was exposed to asbestos throughout his working life.”

Oxford Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Le Masurier first began working at a joinery and carpentry firm in Plymouth from 1965, after leaving school at 15.

Despite working in the shop at first, Mr Le Masurier was exposed to dust as his colleagues would cut asbestos boards very close to where he stood.

He also carried out sawing work himself for several years.

GP at Windrush Health Centre Dr Stephen Smith said Mr Le Masurier’s disease was responsive in a typical fashion.

Dr Smith said: “He did not respond to chemotherapy and was admitted to Sobell House, and then sent home where he was cared for by a Macmillan nurse.

“I last saw him on July 1. He had lost a lot of weight and had changed significantly. His condition deteriorated and he died at 2.01pm on July 14.”

Mr Le Masurier’s son Daniel was there to hear the conclusion on his father’s death.

In August 2014, industrial disease specialist Peter Lodge said asbestos deaths were set to reach a record high in Oxfordshire by 2020.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said that, because of the 30 to 40 year delay – where the substance is in the body but not causing harmful effects – more lives could be claimed in the coming years.

Mr Lodge said he had dealt with more than 100 claims in Oxfordshire over the past 20 years.