Son in quest to fight for justice on behalf of his dad

A man whose father died from asbestos-related cancer is mounting a quest for justice as he fights for answers about where he contracted his killer illness.

Mark Gillard says he is determined to find out where his father Roy was exposed to asbestos during his career as a toolmaker, which saw him work at a number of North East factories from 1948 until his retirement in 2001.

Roy, from Fenham, Newcastle, died aged 82 in October 2015, only three months after he was diagnosed with cancer. However, it was only after his death that his devastated family learned of the link to past asbestos exposure.

While Roy worked for a number of employers during his career, he had long or multiple spells with Caterpillar Tractor, CA Parsons, E Turnbull & Co and RW Transmissions.

Now, son Mark has appealed to colleagues who worked with his father during his lengthy career to help him find the answers he so badly wants.

Mark, who has lived in Fenham near to Roy for all his adult life and looked after his father during his cancer battle, said: “I have so many unanswered questions about where my dad got this cancer. During his lifetime we had no idea he had been exposed to asbestos and it came as a real shock when we found out. At a time when we were still coping with the fact he had gone, the cause of death came as another blow.

“I’ve tried to trace as many of dad’s friends and colleagues as I could remember, but most of them are dead now. Although dad was in a union, they can only give me limited information, so that has drawn a bit of a blank too.

“I would ask anyone who has worked with my dad, who might have some knowledge or information to help, to please get in touch. We just want to know the truth.”

Mark is being assisted with his appeal by Newcastle law firm Sintons, whose specialist asbestos solicitor Raelene Lingam is leading the investigation.

Raelene – the only asbestos specialist lawyer in the North of England to be recommended in the recent Legal 500 – said: “Roy worked hard all his life as a toolmaker, while being totally unaware of the deadly asbestos he was being exposed to. The diagnosis on post-mortem understandably came as a shock to Mark and the rest of his family and we are determined to support them in their fight for justice for Roy.

“We would urge anyone with information they feel may be relevant to get in touch, to help the Gillard family get the answers they deserve.”

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