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Former police sergeant from Holbeach died of industrial disease

A former police sergeant from Holbeach died of an industrial disease he may have contracted in the 1950s.

Roger Ernest Montgomery, of Ravens Gate, was found to have epithelioid mesothelioma, a lung disease derived from exposure to asbestos.

The 79-year-old died in Holbeach and East Elloe Hospital on June 18.

Inqujest report (16381919)
Inqujest report (16381919)

In written evidence to a resumed inquest hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court today (Tuesday), Mr Montgomery’s son Jonathan gave his father’s work history as beginning as an apprentice at Paintons and Co in Northampton. He joined the police force in 1958, working up to be a sergeant in the dog section. Upon retirement in 1988 he became a self-employed dog trainer and delivery driver.

He was diagnosed with a lung problem in 2011 and underwent a lobectomy. In 2017 he developed another malignancy. After further surgery he had three courses of chemotherapy but was not able to tolerate any more.

Mr Montgomery’s GP wrote: “He lived a tolerable life for a while but his mesothelioma gradually progressed and spread throughout the thorax.”

It is likely on balance of probabilities that the condition originated from a past exposure to asbestos

Mr Montgomery was admitted to hospital on June 18 for end of life care.

HMRC’s employment history listed only two employments – 1961-1965/6 at Northampton Borough Police and 1966-1988/89 at Northamptonshire County Council.

Area coroner for Lincolnshire Paul Smith said there was insufficient evidence for him to conclude that the disease came as a result of past employment, as is often the case with mesothelioma. Giving a narrative conclusion, he said: “It is likely on balance of probabilities that that condition originated from a past exposure to asbestos but I record that the source of that exposure cannot be identified.”

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