A FORMER farmer died from asbestos poisoning 30 years after making a contaminated pig shelter, an inquest heard.

Brian Shepard, of Cross Barn Close, Darwen, died at East Lancashire Hospice on December 28 after suffering from mesothelioma - cancer of the lining on his right lung.

The 69-year-old had suffered breathing difficulties for a few weeks before his death.

Mr Shepard was retired after working as a construction worker and farmer.

He was described by his wife, Janice, as being "fit and healthy" before he died.

The inquest heard evidence that Mr Shepard had worked in the mid 1970s building a piggery, which involved cutting sheets of asbestos.

It was the only time that Mr Shepard recalled being in contact with the material.

Deputy Coroner, Caroline Singleton, concluded that the cause of death was due to the deceased being exposed to asbestos, which led to a tumour developing on his lung.

The verdict was death due to industrial disease.