A “wonderful, green-fingered” father and grandfather’s death was brought on by exposure to asbestos during his working life, a coroner has ruled.

Brian Hayes, a father of two daughters who had been a weaving shed worker, a miner and a electrical board employee before retiring, was aged 87 when he was formally pronounced dead at Royal Bolton Hospital on Christmas Day last year.

An inquest heard this week at Bolton Coroners Court heard how Mr Hayes had generally been active, renowned for his gardening skills and in good health throughout his life, but was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2014 which eventually led him to develop aspiration pneumonia.

Coroner Rachel R Sayeed said: “In the course of his working life, he would have come across asbestos.”

She added: “Everything stems back to the badly diseased lung caused by asbestosis, on the balance of probability.”

Mr Hayes, from Westhoughton, had worked for Norweb, originally the North Western Electricity Board, up until his late 40s and it was while stripping wires and cables that he came into contact with asbesdos.

His asbestosis was diagnosed in 2014 which accelerated over the course of 2021, becoming much worse that Autumn, and he was admitted to hospital after a fall that December.

The inquest heard evidence from physicians Dr Rizwan Ahmed and Dr Arun Kallet about the care Mr Hayes received at hospital.

Dr Ahmed said he didn’t believe the fall had contributed to Mr Hayes’ death and in response to concerns raised about his care said that he did not believe anything could have been done differently by that stage.

Dr Kallet agreed and addressed concerns about Mr Hayes being given drinks when he should not have.

He said: "Even if you don't have anything to eat or drink you are still going to risk aspiring."

As such, Ms Sayed formally recorded the Mr Hayes died of aspirational pneumonia brought on by asbestosis, which she recorded as “death by industrial disease".

She closed by saying Mr Hayes would be “very proud” of his family and hoped they could now focus on “all the wonderful memories” of their “green-fingered” father.