Former teacher taking legal action after developing third form of cancer

22nd January 2016

A former teacher suffering from mesothelioma – a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure – is planning to take legal action against the local council for which he used to work.

Paul Crabtree worked at Bessemer School in Hitchin for sixteen years as a religious education teacher between 1972 and 1988, at which point the school was closed. The classroom in which he taught was a post-war prefab room and contained asbestos. The dangerous material was not removed from the school until 1983, reports

Mesothelioma isn’t the only form of cancer Mr Crabtree has suffered from; he was forced to retire at the age of 57 after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

“I’ve had a melanoma removed from my arm,” he said. “Nobody suggested those other two cancers were connected with asbestos but now a third ‘m’ – mesothelioma – is going to get me.

“I was in the same classroom at Bessemer for 16 years. The wisdom at the time was that if you left the asbestos alone it was alright – but I have been affected by it.”

Mr Crabtree is seeking legal help from Irwin Mitchell to take action against Herts County Council. A spokesperson from the council stated it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment further as the action is ongoing.