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A founder of the Staffordshire Regimental Association’s Burton branch died from asbestos exposure, a coroner has ruled.

89-year-old Sam Hutchings spent 36 years in the Burton brewing industry and was exposed to asbestos on many occasions.

He and his colleagues referred to it as ‘monkey muck’, the inquest at Burton Town Hall heard.

Diagnosed with asbestosis nearly 30 years ago, Mr Hutchings’ health deteriorated gradually and he sadly died in January this year.

“What is clear from the evidence is that Sam has died from the effects of asbestos,” said Coroner Andrew Haigh.

“This makes this an occupationally linked death.

“It is clear that in his final months that the asbestos he’d known as ‘monkey muck’ had become too much.

“He did also submit a claim in relation to the asbestos, which was successful.”

Asbestosis, combined with the effects of a chest infection, were confirmed as the cause of death.
Happily married for 66 years, Mr Hutchings had two children and three grandchildren.

“We had a full military funeral for him as he was one of the founders of the Staffordshire Regiment’s Burton branch,” said his son Tony Hutchings.

“There was a flag draped on his coffin and the bugle was played.

“He was a huge Aston Villa fan too, so we made sure that was recognised at the funeral.

“I want to thank the coroner who has done a very professional job of the inquest.”

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