A MAN from Newbury died at Basingstoke hospital last year because of exposure to asbestos during his career working on building sites, an inquest has heard.

David Arthur Raymond McKenna passed away on September 14, 2019 after spending around a month in hospital. A care plan had been in place but the former labourer died before he could be discharged.

Winchester Coroners' Court heard on Thursday that Mr McKenna's health had been deteriorating since 2018, with a decrease in appetite. He was unable to tolerate much food or a feeding tube, area coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kent told the inquest, which lasted less than 20 minutes.

She said: "Given that this death may have been related to Mr McKenna's work we would automatically open an inquest and given the difficulties ascertaining what he died of, we organised a post-mortem."

The post-mortem, carried out at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital by Dr Hayder Alkhazaraji found that Mr McKenna's lungs showed areas of pleural and subpleural fibrosis, whilst a pathologist said that the cause of death was pleural and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as asbestos exposure.

It was revealed by his late wife, Denise, who submitted evidence to the inquest in writing, that after coming to England at the age of 16, Mr McKenna worked as a stable lad before moving on to his job as a labourer on building sites before his retirement at the age of 65.

She said he was "fit and healthy" until his health deteriorated.

There was no family in attendance at the inquest in Winchester, but Ms Rhodes-Kent "wanted to offer them my deepest sympathies".

Summing up, she added: "The circumstances of his death are that he sadly became ill in 2018 and died at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital on September 14, 2019 from exposure to asbestos during the course of his working life.

"The only appropriate conclusion is industrial disease."