Appeal to colleagues by ex-prison officer

By David Newble

Friday, December 13, 2013


A FORMER Parkhurst prison officer, diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, has appealed to former colleagues to provide information about his alleged exposure to the deadly dust.

Ronald Samways, known as Ron or Sam to former colleagues, is now aged 71 and worked at Parkhurst between 1979 and 2003, when he says he was exposed to asbestos.

HM Prison Service said it was unaware of Mr Samways’s case but took the health and welfare of its staff very seriously and had robust safety regulations in all prisons.

Mr Samways was diagnosed with the disease in June when doctors told him he had incurable cancer.

Mr Samways, who now lives in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, with his wife, Sandra, said: "After being diagnosed, I started to think back and remember asbestos being discovered at Parkhurst and the hazardous material being removed by specialist contractors."

Martyn Hayward, a solicitor at the law firm, Irwin Mitchell which is representing Mr Samways, said: "Parkhurst is very old and refurbishments were ongoing during Ron’s time there.

"We know asbestos was discovered at Parkhurst because prison officers were provided with information, which referred to asbestos on site."

Anyone who thinks they can help can contact Martyn Hayward on 0114 274 4420 at Irwin Mitchell solicitors or e-mail


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